Sunday, January 25, 2015

Leaking cop let off with a slap on the wrist: Officer given 'management advice' after posting information on Twitter about probe into singer Cliff Richard

A police officer suspected of leaking information about an investigation into Sir Cliff Richard has escaped severe punishment.

South Yorkshire Police (SYP) gave the unnamed officer ‘management advice’ – tantamount to a slap on the wrist – after he posted information on Twitter in April last year. Management advice is the lowest sanction given for misconduct.

Referring the incident to the IPCC, the police watchdog, SYP queried whether he or she could be the source of the tip-off that led to SYP agreeing with the BBC to broadcast a raid of the pop star’s home.

Heavily redacted police files, obtained by The Mail on Sunday through a Freedom of Information request, reveal a complaint sent to former crime commissioner Shaun Wright days after the raid on Sir Cliff’s home on August 14 last year. The letter said that in April the unnamed officer tweeted about the arrest of a 73-year-old by Operation Yewtree detectives.

The IPCC handed the case back to SYP, which concluded that the junior officer (who was not part of the investigation into the allegations against Sir Cliff) was not the source of the leak – though it has not said why it came to that conclusion.

The star was in Portugal during the raid on his £3 million Berkshire home. He has denied all allegations that he abused a youth, now in his 40s, at a Christian rally in 1985.

The BBC faced criticism for broadcasting the raid live from a helicopter and stationing reporters at the gates of the property before police arrived.

The uproar led to the Home Affairs Select Committee concluding ‘No citizen should have to see their home raided in this way.’

Last night, Keith Vaz, chairman of the Select Committee, said: ‘People will be puzzled that the officer should be treated so leniently for such a serious matter.’

Sir Cliff declined to comment.

Original report here

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