BBC sexual harassment cases doubled within one year

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SEXUAL harassment investigations within the BBC doubled within one year.

Between April 2019 until April 2020 the organisation investigated ten allegations against their employees.

Within that year two undisclosed members of staff were sacked from their roles at the organisation following internal investigations at the BBC.

One member of staff who was accused was given training and remediation and allowed to keep their job.

Another employee was given a final written warning during the same time frame while a further five cases were upheld by the organisation.

One BBC employee was “managed within the division” according to the information acquired by a Freedom of Information request.

During the previous financial year, 2018 to 2019, the organisation had five investigations of sexual harassment.

No members of staff were dismissed from their positions while one received a final written warning and another received their first written warning.

Two cases in that year were upheld and again one employee was “managed within division”.

BBC sexual assault cases goes up double - UK News
Pictured: BBC

The BBC initially declined a request for information on sexual harassment allegations over the past five years due to alleged cost implications.

They then agreed to provide details over the past two years, however they refused to give details of employees involved and locations of the incidents.

However they refused to disclose how much money has been spent at the BBC investigating those claims.

A spokeswoman for feminist political party, The Women’s Equality Party, today  said: “It is hugely concerning to hear about these allegations and the sharp rise in cases.

“Sadly it mirrors what we have seen across the country during the pandemic, where all forms of violence against women are on the rise.

“The solution has to be scaling up support and investing in new ways to reach employees whose working patterns and support structures may have changed.

“The BBC has a particular responsibility in this regard as a public service broadcaster, to take a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment and to remove the full range of barriers to equality in the media.”

In 2012 and 2013, the BBC was involved in a highly publicised scandal after reports emerged of abuse children suffered at the hands of top BBC employees.

Jimmy Savile, former radio DJ and TV personality, who presented Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It abused hundreds of children while working at the BBC.

Australian born entertainer Rolf Harris, who presented TV show Animal Hospital on the BBC, was convicted in 2014 of sexual assault of four underage girls.

He was subsequently sentenced to five years and nine months behind bars on twelve counts of indecent assault on victims during the 1970’s and 80’s.

Katie Russell, national spokesperson for Rape Crisis England & Wales today FRI] said:
“If those impacted by sexual harassment are feeling more empowered to recognise and speak up about it, then that’s a trend that could be cautiously welcomed.

“Nonetheless, any sexual harassment in any workplace is too much, and any employer should take a doubling of official cases very seriously.

“It’s up to those responsible for organisations to ensure an inclusive, anti-oppressive working culture, not least of all by recognising the seriousness of sexual harassment and taking a zero tolerance approach to it.”