Sir Cliff Richard considers suing BBC and police for breach of privacy in house raid

By Ishbel Macleod | PR and social media consultant

November 24, 2014 | 2 min read

Sir Cliff Richard is reportedly considering suing the BBC and the South Yorkshire police for breach of privacy, after the broadcaster showed live coverage of his house being raided in August.

The singer’s house was searched, while he was on holiday, after a man in his 40s claimed that he had been sexually assaulted at a rally in Sheffield in 1985.

At the time, the BBC said it had been made aware of the search after an independent tip-off, having had a helicopter hovering over the singer’s house before the police had arrived.

Evidence sent to an investigation by the Commons home affairs select committee found that a month before the raid Carrie Goodwin, the force’s head of corporate communications, had contacted the BBC journalist Dan Johnson to ask if he would like her to “set something up with the officer in the celebrity case”.

However, guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers states that a suspect’s name should not be publicised unless they were charged.

A source close to the singer has said that “no decision had been made either way” on whether Richard would start a civil claim for compensation.

A spokesperson for the South Yorkshire police told The Times that it believes its actions were “within policy and well intentioned”, but added that it has stopped giving “privileged briefings” to reporters for celebrity and high-profile cases.


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