Police raided Sir Cliff Richard’s home in Berkshire, last August
Police should not have released “highly confidential” details to the BBC about a planned search of Sir Cliff Richard’s home, an independent report concluded.
South Yorkshire Police “interfered with the star’s privacy” by telling the broadcaster about the raid in Berkshire last August, the report said.
A deal over the details was made when a BBC reporter told the force he knew they were investigating the star.
The BBC said a parliamentary committee had endorsed its handling of the story.
Following the raid, Sir Cliff was interviewed by detectives investigating a claim of a sex crime involving a young boy, but was not arrested or charged.
‘Cost to reputation’
In his report, former chief constable of British Transport Police Andy Trotter said: “The search at Sir Cliff Richard’s apartment, and the nature of the allegation, generated considerable publicity across the world, certainly interfered with his privacy and may well have caused unnecessary distress.”
“Whatever the motivation and good intentions of those involved from SYP, the outcome has been bad publicity for the force, the chief constable being summoned to HASC (Home Affairs Select Committee), criticism from the media and politicians, complaints from the public, abuse on social media and a public spat with the BBC.
“More importantly, people have seen a search on Sir Cliff Richard’s apartment unfold on television with details of a serious allegation put into the public domain prior to him being interviewed by the police.
“The force can argue that the search was carried out successfully and there was no interference to the investigation that the threat of prior publication was avoided.
“That is true but at considerable cost to the reputation of the force which could have been avoided by the individuals concerned.”
Mr Trotter’s report was ordered by the now former …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment