Published Tuesday, 12 March 2013
One alleged victim said they came forward to RUC about Jimmy Savile. (© Getty)
The review was carried out by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which independently assesses police forces and policing.
It has expressed concern over why so many victims felt unable to approach police with allegations during Savile's lifetime.
The Inspectorate asked all police forces to provide information relating to sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile prior to the 2012 investigation.
"The findings are surprising, given what is now known of Savile's prolific offending," a statement said.
Police recorded just five allegations of criminal conduct, and two pieces of intelligence information during his lifetime.
The review has raised concerns about the extent to which victims tried to report their allegations to police prior to last year's Operation Yewtree, and "for whatever reason, were not treated as they should have been".
The report also stated that eight victims so far have come forward to indicate they had reported claims of abuse, and had not been dealt with appropriately.
One of these victims reported a complaint to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), according to the HMIC.
However, a statement from the PSNI on Tuesday said that the police force was unable to find any records in relation to this.
"At the request of HMIC, PSNI checked all RUC records and were unable to find any record of an allegation being made in relation to Jimmy Saville."
PSNI take all reports of abuse seriously. Police would encourage anyone with a complaint about a sexual assault to contact their local police. All allegations will be investigated.
HM Inspector of Constabulary, Drusilla Sharpling, said: "The findings in this report are of deep concern, and clearly there were mistakes in how the police handled the allegations made against Savile during his lifetime.
"However, an equally profound problem is that victims felt unable to come forward and report crimes of sexual abuse.
"It is imperative that all those charged with protecting these victims do more to encourage reporting, taking the right action to bring perpetrators to justice.
"We welcome the new measures announced recently by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Association of Chief Police Officers. But more needs to be done, and it is neither enough nor correct to say 'This couldn't happen now'."
HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Tom Winsor, added: "It is imperative that children and other victims of sexual crimes have the knowledge, the means and the confidence to report what has happened to them.
"HMIC's report identifies policies and practices which the police must reassess and improve in order to be better able to deal with historical allegations, and to keep our children safe."
The watchdog found that a child reporting sexual abuse today is likely to be better treated than 50 years ago.
The statement added: "But there is still more to do if children are to receive the full protection of the changes that have been introduced since then."
The Inspectorate said it will examine wider concerns about the way police manage and use information and whether national guidance is being given full effect in all forces in a wider review due to start in the summer.