Commissioner says Sir Cliff Richard police probe should not have been 'played out in public'

Dr Alan Billings
Dr Alan Billings
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South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has voiced his concern that the police probe into Sir Cliff Richard was 'played out in the public domain'.

Dr Alan Billings spoke out after the Crown Prosecution Service announced that no action is to be taken against Sir Cliff, who was investigated for two years over allegations of historic sex crimes.

The 75-year-old entertainer had nine allegations made against him, four of which were referred to the CPS for consideration on whether to press charges.

Another five were not referred.

The first allegation was made by a man who claimed he was abused as a teenage boy by Sir Cliff at a Christian concert in Sheffield in the 1980s,

The CPS said today that was 'insufficient evidence' to support the allegations against the popular pop star, who always maintained his innocence.

South Yorkshire Police provided details of a raid on Sir Cliff's Berkshire home to the BBC, which televised it live and the star's identity was made public.

He was interviewed voluntarily twice but was never arrested.

The police deal with the BBC landed the then Chief Constable, David Crompton, before MPs to be grilled over the decision, with his force accused of acting with 'sheer incompetence' over the way the matter was dealt with.

Mr Crompton claimed the BBC already knew of its probe into Sir Cliff and said his force feared that details would be made public which would 'impede' the investigation unless it worked with the BBC.

South Yorkshire PCC, Dr Billings, said: “This has been a lengthy process and one that should not have been played out in the public domain.

“It is a matter of deep regret that these reports were made so public when there was never any arrest.

“I am pleased that that the CPS reached their decision speedily.

“There is clearly a bigger debate to be had about how these issues are dealt with in ways that allow victims to be heard but afford those investigated proper protection.”