"This whole sordid affair has demonstrated the tragic consequences of what happens when vulnerability collides with power," said Commander Peter Spindler, head of the police specialist crime unit.
A report summarizing the three-month police investigation said Savile's victims ranged from a 10-year-old boy who said he was sexually assaulted after he asked for an autograph to children who were groped when they attended tapings of the music show "Top of the Pops," and pupils at a school for troubled girls who were allegedly offered cigarettes and trips in Savile's car in return for sex.
Police said Savile used his celebrity status to "hide in plain sight," winning the trust of institutions and targeting vulnerable individuals unlikely to speak out against him.
The report said Savile committed 50 offenses at medical establishments, including a cancer hospice and several psychiatric hospitals, 14 at schools, and 33 at television or radio stations; 73 percent of his victims were under 18 and 82 percent were female, police said.
"The details provided by victims of his abuse paint the picture of a mainly opportunistic individual who used his celebrity status as a powerful tool to coerce or control them, preying on the vulnerable or star-struck for his sexual gratification," the report said.
Peter Watt of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said Savile was an "evil and manipulative man" who "cunningly built his entire career around gaining access to vulnerable children."
Officials said Savile's abuse might have been brought to light earlier had authorities pursued allegations against him more seriously.