Report blasts TV deal on Cliff raid

Published: Tuesday 24th February 2015 by The News Editor

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An independent report into the controversial raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s home has found the pop star was caused “unnecessary distress” by live coverage which invaded his privacy.

And according to the Daily Mail, who obtained the report under Freedom of Information laws, its author, former chief constable Andy Trotter, concluded the police should not have made a deal with the BBC to supply details of the raid in return for the broadcaster holding the story.

The 74-year-old star hit the headlines when detectives searched his Berkshire apartment in August while a film crew from the corporation caught the event on camera.

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.

The review reportedly concluded South Yorkshire Police should not have confirmed “highly sensitive and confidential” details to the BBC or facilitated a meeting between a senior detective and a corporation reporter.

The paper said Mr Trotter, who helped draw up press relations guidance for the College of Policing, said: “People have seen a search of 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 search and the nature of the allegation … certainly interfered with his privacy and may well have cause unnecessary distress.”

In October a committee of MPs branded South Yorkshire Police “inept” over its handling of the event and said it should have refused to co-operate with the BBC.

The Home Affairs Select Committee also criticised the BBC for its decision not to allow the reporter behind the story, Dan Johnson, to appear before them.

A statement from Sir Cliff’s lawyers said the coverage caused “immeasurable harm” to the star.

Published: Tuesday 24th February 2015 by The News Editor

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