'Very rare' commendations from the Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe were awarded to Peter Watt, Director of National Services and the helpline team, who provided vital support to detectives working on the high-profile case. Assistant Commissioner's Commendations were also presented to:
- Ali Jeremy, Director of communications
- Kam Thandi, Head of Helplines
- Barry Gardner, Media Manager
- John Cameron, Head of helpline Operations
The Commissioner said Yewtree had led to an 82 per cent rise in sexual crimes being reported in London, with a quarter of these being historical cases (at least 12 months old).
Commander Peter Spindler, who headed Operation Yewtree, which has led to the successful convictions of Rolf Harris, Max Clifford, Paul Gadd (Gary Glitter), Chris Denning and Dave Lee Travis, told the 90- strong audience at New Scotland Yard:
"The best decision we made was to invite the NSPCC to join us from the start. They provided a round-the-clock access point and gave specialist advice and support throughout to ensure we didn't let victims down."
Commander Spindler said the investigation – which is still ongoing – had resulted in nearly 3000 statements and interviews involving over 2000 victims and potential suspects: "The scale and impact has been unique," he said. "Operation Yewtree has embedded itself in the national psyche and has led to a change in the public perception regarding these crimes. The key to its success has been the multi-agency approach from the start."