BBC and the Police are they too close?

  Woolwell 14:01 17 Aug 2014

I am surprised that this hasn't been raised before. It would seem that the BBC were told that the Police were to enter Cliff Richard's home to conduct a search. The Police has now complained about the BBC BBC Newswhich seems a bit rich considering that they told the BBC when they could have neither confirmed or denied it eg no comment.

I don't want to consider Cliff Richard and what he may or may not have done as we simply do not know and to conjecture would add to adverse publicity already around. My point is what has happened to innocent before proven guilty? Surely the Police have no right to work with the media and publish names. Lives and careers can be ruined by such actions.

  Gordon Freeman 14:19 17 Aug 2014

What has happened to innocent before proven guilty?

I think maybe this might have been a more suitable thread title.

There have been many 'victims' of this type of thing lately (I'm referring to these 'celeb' types), who have ultimately been found not guilty, but had their lives & careers left in ruins, or very close to it.

  Woolwell 14:25 17 Aug 2014

On reflection I could have used a better thread title as Gordon Freeman suggested.

  Mr Mistoffelees 16:07 17 Aug 2014

The manes of rapists and child abusers should remain secret, until such time as there is a guilty verdict in court, with punitive sanctions for those who break the law by making names known. Not to protect the guilty but, to protect the innocent.

  Mr Mistoffelees 16:09 17 Aug 2014

"In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said it was contacted some weeks ago by a BBC reporter "who made it clear he knew of the existence of an investigation."

Surely the police need to ensure their own staff/officers do not leak to the media.

  Aitchbee 16:14 17 Aug 2014

Bad timing by the police, I reckon. I cannot understand why the South Yorkhire Police could not wait a while longer to question the suspect while he was at his home or at some other easily accessible location in the UK? For goodness sake, it's a 30 year-old alleged crime.

If it's not bad timing then the POLICE must surely have a bundle of incriminating evidence to explain their GUNG-HO investigational techniques.

  Woolwell 16:41 17 Aug 2014

The Police argue that the publicity generated makes others come forward with allegations. But how many are false, driven by the publicity and a chance of compensation? The problem is that you want people to come forward and not suppress abuse but the accused should be protected too.

  carver 17:16 17 Aug 2014

It's funny that some one can get their lives ruined by this sort of thing and the person making the complaint can carry on with their lives regardless and in the meantime Cliff Richard has been tried, judged and convicted by the press and BBC.

  Forum Editor 18:22 17 Aug 2014

"in the meantime Cliff Richard has been tried, judged and convicted by the press and BBC."

Has he? You must been reading, hearing and watching different reports to the ones I've seen.

You need to have a sense of reality when considering cases like this one.Cliff Richard is an extremely famous man - he has been in the public eye for 50 years, and there is a considerable amount of public interest in the Police visit to his home. Fame comes at a price, and that price is a certain loss of privacy - you can't have it both ways.

Cliff is entitled to be treated fairly by the Police, and by the media, but he isn't entitled to remain anonymous. he hasn't been charged with anything, and that may be the end of it. If he is eventually charged the whole thing will be played out against a background of publicity, and there's nothing anyone can do about that.

To expect that it could be any different is to fail to have a grasp on reality. People will speculate, and provided they don't publish a libel there isn't any way to stop it. What we should do is wait to see what happens, and keep an open mind in the meantime.

  carver 19:14 17 Aug 2014

Forum Editor "Cliff is entitled to be treated fairly by the Police, and by the media,but he isn't entitled to remain anonymous" but that is the main point, he hasn't.

His residence was staked out by the media, media helicopters were overhead even before the police arrived and you will have people saying "there's no smoke without fire".

If there is no evidence to charge him then he should have remained anonymous until such a time as evidence emerged, if there isn't any then whoever alerted the press should be charged with some thing.

  Forum Editor 22:15 17 Aug 2014


"whoever alerted the press should be charged with some thing."

Charged with what - alerting the press? It's not a criminal offence, and do you seriously believe that if Police raided Cliff Richard's flat it could possibly have remained a secret for five minutes? He couldn't possibly have remained anonymous.

Of course there will be saying that there's no smoke without fire - the Police don't swoop on a high profile person's home without having some good reason for doing so. Someone has made an allegation. It has been investigated by Police who obviously came to the conclusion that they must take the matter further. Their investigations may result in a prosecution or they not. Either way they have to do it.

If someone blabbed to the BBC about the operation prior to its commencement it's a matter for Police to investigate internally, and if necessary to take disciplinary action.

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