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Police appeal for man in distinctive jacket to come forward

Images of a man who could have vital information about an assault on a man in Doncaster on Monday December 8 have been released by police.

A 23-year-old man was seriously assaulted near to Tesco, between North Bridge and Church View, at around midday.

CCTV image of man police want to speak to over assault Credit: South Yorkshire Police
CCTV image of man police want to speak to over assault Credit: South Yorkshire Police
Distinctive jacket worn by man police want to speak to over assault Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Police believe the man in the images may be able to help with their enquiries. He wore a distinctive Adidas jacket, which police believe has the words ‘Dark Side Imperials’ emblazoned on the back and the letters D and S on the front.

The victim was reportedly involved in an altercation with at least two other men. He remains in hospital in a critical condition.

A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault and remains in police custody.

Do you recognise the man? Or perhaps you witnessed the assault?

Anyone with any information should contact South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 338 of 8 December 2014.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Police train hotel staff to spot sexual abuse

Staff at more than 60 hotels across South Yorkshire have been trained by police to spot signs of sexual abuse.

The programme, called Operation Makesafe, will now be rolled out across the county after starting in May last year.

Officers have trained staff members to help them identify the warning signs of exploitation, how to spot potential perpetrators and victims and how to report suspicions to police

To date, 21 incidents have been reported to police and these have led to six arrests and police say several young people have been removed from harm.

Hotels are just one of a number of different types of premises perpetrators try to use hotels to facilitate their crime. We are preventing them from doing so by working in partnership with hotels across South Yorkshire and protecting young people from becoming victims of this horrendous crime. The results so far show how hotel staff are being more vigilant and aware of the movements of their guests and are more confident in contacting the police with any suspicions. I would like to thank all the hotels who have worked with us, we are grateful for their support.

– Sergeant Katherine Wallis, who runs Operation Makesafe

We have worked closely with the team over the last 12 months to develop what we feel is a very good training programme for all of our hotel front line staff.

– Ian Slater, Chairman of Hospitality Sheffield

South Yorkshire Police branded 'inept' over Cliff raid

MPs have launched another blistering attack on South Yorkshire Police saying it should apologise to Sir Cliff Richard for letting the raid on his home be filmed by a TV news crew and helicopter.

The high profile raid over historic allegations of child sex abuse, which Sir Cliff denies, is described as "inept" in a report today by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee.

His Berkshire apartment was searched in August as part of an investigation into an alleged sexual assault on a boy at a religious event in Sheffield in 1985.

The raid - which took place while Sir Cliff was at another property in Barbados - drew criticism as a BBC crew was on hand to film the police activity.

South Yorkshire Police says it did not leak information to the BBC, but instead agreed to tell a BBC reporter of the date that Sir Cliff's house would be searched in return for the BBC delaying publication of any of the facts. The force says a BBC reporter had contacted South Yorkshire Police some weeks earlier making it clear he knew of the existence of the investigation and although the force was reluctant to co-operate, it did so in order to preserve the integrity of its inquiry.

But the chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, Keith Vaz, said today:

South Yorkshire Police's handling of this situation was utterly inept. The Force allowed itself to hand over sensitive information to a journalist and granted him privileged access to the execution of a search warrant. The email exchanges could easily be mistaken for a script from "The Bill". The Force should have refused to cooperate and explained to senior BBC News executives why the premature broadcasting of a story, which they claimed the journalist threatened, would have prejudiced the investigation. "No British citizen should have to watch their home being raided by the police live on television. Sir Cliff Richard has suffered enormous and irreparable damage to his reputation and he is owed an apology over the way matters were handled. We are not surprised that he wishes to sell his home. "Police forces should consider carefully how they deal with approaches from journalists on such matters in the future. Someone in possession of sensitive information decided to leak details of the investigation to the media. We deplore this. South Yorkshire assert that the journalist stated it came from Operation Yewtree. The journalist denies this. South Yorkshire should have alerted the Metropolitan Police immediately. Their reasons for failing to do so are unsustainable."

In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said :

"Whilst we believe our actions were within policy and were well intended, they were ultimately flawed and we regret the additional anxiety which was caused to Sir Cliff Richard.

South Yorkshire Police has changed the way it deals with this type of media enquiry. In high profile cases the force no longer provides privileged briefings to reporters, nor does it confirm information which media sources seek to verify.

We are fully cooperating with the Metropolitan Police investigation regarding the original source of information."

A BBC spokesman said: "The committee chairman has already said that the BBC acted 'perfectly properly' in handling this story, and we're pleased today's report confirms this."

He added: "Our reporter said very clearly he did not reveal his sources to South Yorkshire Police. We stand by his account."

South Yorks police under fire over child protection

The police force at the centre of the Rotherham child abuse scandal is failing in one of its most important duties - to protect children according to the police watchdog.

Today's report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary says the South Yorkshire force has "limited understanding" of the risk posed by offenders who target vulnerable children. And it's been given six weeks to address its problems. David Hirst reports.

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Chief Constable gave "incorrect" information - Vaz

Keth Vaz, the chairman of Parliament's influential Home Affairs Select Committee, has criticised South Yorkshire Police' s Chief Constable David Crompton for giving incorrect information to the committee.

Mr Vaz MP said : " The Chief Constable has now stated that the information he gave to the Committee yesterday, concerning the number of convictions in Rotherham, was incorrect.

" It is extraordinary that he did not know how many people have been convicted of these crimes. Parliament, and the public, need accurate information about these serious and sensitive issues. We will expect a full explanation next Tuesday.

" I have spoken to the Chief Constable requesting clarity on the Rotherham convictions. "

Ex attorney general questions handling of Cliff Richard case

The former attorney general Dominic Grieve has questioned South Yorkshire Police's handling of the sex offence investigation into Sir Cliff Richard as “odd” and “very questionable,” reports The Telegraph.

Mr Grieve has accused the force of colluding with the BBC in allowing the search of Sir Cliff’s home in Berkshire on Thursday to be filmed by the broadcaster as it was taking place.

The driveway leading to the estate in Sunningdale, Berkshire, which houses Sir Cliff Richard's apartment. Credit: Aisling Ennis/PA Wire

South Yorkshire Police is investigating an allegation that the singer sexually assaulted a boy at a concert in Sheffield almost 30 years ago. Sir Cliff has described the claim as "completely false." He learned of the search of his apartment only when the BBC broadcast pictures of the operation..

Dominic Grieve, who left the cabinet last month, is the most senior politician to call into question the decision by South Yorkshire Police to tell the BBC when the search was going to take place.

“I can see that police might not want to warn somebody about a search because they fear a suspect will destroy the evidence. But it was much odder to tip off the BBC that they were carrying out the raid. That seems quite extraordinary... “Unless the police can show the sound public reason for doing that, it suggests a collusive relationship with the BBC which is very odd.

– Dominic Grieve, speaking to The Telegraph

Meanwhile the same newspaper is reporting that Keith Vaz MP, the chairman of the powerful House of Commons home affairs select committee, is to write to David Crompton, South Yorkshire's chief constable, to demand an explanation of the force's actions, saying “serious questions need to be asked” about the way it had handled the matter.

South Yorkshire Police says it did not leak information to the BBC, but instead agreed to tell a BBC reporter of the date that Sir Cliff's house would be searched in return for the BBC delaying publication of any of the facts. The force says the BBC reporter had contacted South Yorkshire Police some weeks earlier making it clear he knew of the existence of the investigation and although the force was reluctant to co-operate, it did so in order to preserve the integrity of its inquiry.

BBC defends its role in Cliff Richard raid

The BBC has defended itself against claims by South Yorkshire Police that it breached its own editorial guidelines in its reporting of the search of Sir Cliff Richard's house by detectives investigating an allegation of a sex offence against a boy in Sheffield in the 1980s.

Both the broadcaster and the force have faced criticism from Sir Cliff and a number of MPs about the presence of BBC News cameras outside the property in Sunningdale, Berkshire, even before the police searches began.

South Yorkshire Police says it did not leak information to the BBC, but instead agreed to tell a BBC reporter of the date that Sir Cliff's house would be searched in return for the BBC delaying publication of any of the facts. The force says the BBC reporter had contacted South Yorkshire Police some weeks earlier making it clear he knew of the existence of the investigation and although the force was reluctant to co-operate, it did so in order to preserve the integrity of its inquiry.

Tonight the BBC reported the following statement from one of its own spokespeople.

"A BBC journalist approached South Yorkshire Police with information about the investigation. The BBC agreed to follow normal journalistic practice and not to publish a story that might jeopardise a police inquiry."

– BBC spokesperson

Police Commissioner to examine Cliff Richard inquiry

The Police and Crime Commissioner in South Yorkshire is to examine the chain of events in the force's handling of the Sir Cliff Richard sex offence inquiry amid growing concerns about the presence of the media at the singer's house when officers carried out searches there on Thursday.

Shaun Wright says questions need to be asked abut the source of the original leak, which he says put the force in "a difficult position when approached by the media."

“The Commissioner is committed to ensuring that the policing needs of South Yorkshire communities are met, and this includes effectively addressing and investigating any concerns raised, including those in relation to ethical conduct.

In light of the outcomes of the Leveson Inquiry, the Commissioner will be looking very carefully at the catalogue of events which took place in relation to this investigation and any necessary actions will be taken. Questions need to be answered as to the original source of the leak, which put the force in a difficult position when approached by the media. In the meantime, working to protect the integrity of this investigation has been, and will continue to be of the utmost importance. It would therefore not be appropriate at this stage to comment any further on operational policing issues when an investigation is on-going."

– Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire PCC
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