Cliff Richard makes controversial call about sex offenders

Sir Cliff Richard may have had a tough year, but his new campaign could be about to make things a
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Sir Cliff Richard may have had a tough year, but his new campaign could be about to make things a whole lot worse for him.

The signer has joined a fight to ban media and the public from naming anyone accused of sexual offences before they are charged. In 2014, media named Cliff as the man at the centre of a police probe into sexual offences and he says he will be “forever tainted” by coverage of the claims against him.

While the charges have since been dropped, he says the damage the media coverage has done will scar him for life.

“Had I not been ‘named’ worldwide I feel I would still have been able to look people in the eye, and not feel afraid that they might be thinking that there is ‘no smoke without fire’,” he said in the UK parliament.

As it stands, there are no laws in Britain or Australia against naming someone suspected of sexual offences, however, they could come after you for defamation if you are found innocent.

Cliff is currently in the process of suing the BBC for broadcasting the police raids on his house and says a ban of naming suspected offenders would save innocent people from being hurt.

While he has his supporters, others are urging him to abandon his fight immediately.

The End Violence Against Women Coalition has issued a letter venting their frustration, saying: “While we sympathise with how you feel about your treatment in the media, we do however believe your campaign directed at the criminal justice system, and specifically the rules on anonymity, is a grossly misdirected one.”

Co-Director Sarah Green told Sky News: “Our legal system is an open justice system. It’s very important that the whole community knows who’s accused of a crime, what they may be charged with and the evidence.”

Do you think there should be a ban on naming suspected sex offenders before they are charged? Or does the public have a right to know so they can take safety precautions?

  1. Susan  

    I totally agree with Sir Clff Richard that names of anyone accused of a crime should have their name suppressed until they are found guilty of the crime for which they have been accused. I know of two cases where men were accused of sexual crimes and in both cases they were found not guilty by a jury but their lives and relationships were ruined. The accusers were found to be liars and had accused other men previously and there is no recourse for these men against their accuser who will probably try it on again. Only when a person has been found guilty then the media should have the right to publish their name and crime. Not trial by media!

    • Rosalie Cowan  

      Thank you Susan, my sentiments exactly.

    • I agree with Susan. Also the police who are generally not well educated can accuse people of crimes they’re innocent of and even use publication of names and photographs in the media to manipulate and hound people they think are guilty of crimes and are struggling for evidence or witnesses. It can become an old-fashioned witch-hunt.

    • There are purported to be 12 alleged victims of Cliff Richard and no one is writing about them. They should take common law action and if successful the police would have to charge Cliff and the Courts would have to try him.

    • Alun peters  

      I agree with you l was acused of nothing more than ring a ring a rosy with my youngest step daughter and the eldest step daughter of sitting on my knee watching TV but the Nspcc and the police said it was all nonsense in the END but I had to leave the village I lived in because word got around. And when I walked in my local pub one of the Nspcc said out loud Oh ! Here comes the child molester. It did not ruin my life but it still haughts me till this day.

  2. ROB  

    I do not believe that names should be kept secret of accused sex offenders.

    It appears that Cliff Richard may be feeding the media with news of his opinions and intentions to sue the BBC and Police to try and convince the public that he is completely innocent of any sex crimes at any time in the past. But I am sure the public can form an opinion on him without any of this spun media.

    It appears “Cliff the Christian” has turned away from his earlier belief that “forgiveness” is the theme of the Gospels.

    Will all of this media profile help Cliff be the Calendar Boy of 2017, have a new hit album or worst of all a Christmas single hit!

  3. any person can accuse any other person. a jury sorts it out. what happened to innocent until proven guilty. the media names people and then the public believe the accused is guilty without the benefit of the trial. Sir Cliff is right – no one should be named until proven guilty in a court of law.

  4. Jill Price  

    Sir Cliff is right to fight this. No one should be named unless they are charged – innocent until proven guilty.
    Otherwise it ends up trial by media which is very wrong.

  5. Jon Hammill  

    Surely the argument is about Policing.
    If even the basics of investigation had been carried out on the cases mentioned,it would have been obvious no such offence could have taken place
    Police witnesses came forward to offer evidence it could not have happened but even they were ignored
    It appears another Police Force had the allegations looked into it and did not even interview Clifff so flimsy was the evidence.
    With everything else that came to light with South Yorkshire Police perhaps David Crompton should be investigated

    If the Police present evidence to a judge and he agrees it is in the public interest to name then so be it

    The system is open to abuse anyone can make an accusation against a person they have never met and that person’s name is publicised and dragged through the gutter .That can never be right
    So stop lazy policing investigate properly then everyone is subject to investiagation “without fear or favour”

    • Jon Hammill  

      PS
      Even lazier reporting
      Charges were not dropped as your article states. There were “NO CHARGES”

  6. When is this publication ever going to get it right? Sir Cliff Richard was NEVER CHARGED with any offence. He was never arrested at any point. Do you not have a legal team who could check if you don’t understand how UK law works?

    Secondly, it is NOT a controversial call about sex offenders. That is a disgusting and grossly inaccurate headline. Sir Cliff and others who have been falsely accused are merely asking for the law to be changed to prevent people, any person accused of such things, being named unless or until they are charged. Sir Cliff and a good many others were never charged, but the police issued names anyway, which could ruin reputations and destroy lives. In Sir Cliff’s case his home was raided on live BBC News and yet he was never arrested, never charged and had not even been questioned and made aware of the allegation he was facing at the time.

    I have no objection to publications referring to Sir Cliff, but the very least you could do is get the basic facts right.

  7. Duncan  

    Wouldn’t take any notice of what he says, particularly regarding sexual crimes.

    Why should deviants’ be name protected?

    If I had my way, they’d be ‘named & shamed’ as Sen Derryn Hinch NOW can do, to the nth degree, anywhere they can be.
    Their choice to commit heinous crimes; nobody holds a ‘gun’ to their head to do these vile acts.

    Damn shame the death penalty doesn’t exist, because this is what should happen to these sickos’.
    Along with rapists’, rapist-murderers’, & murderers’.

    Just on another tangent here, any youth offenders’, dependent on crime committed, should feel the ‘cat o’ nine tails’, or be ‘in the stocks’ publically shamed.

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