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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

South Yorks Police complain to BBC over Cliff Richard

South Yorkshire Police has complained to the BBC about its reporting of the Sir Cliff Richard sex offence inquiry. The force has written to the director general of the BBC saying it believes the broadcaster has "contravened its editorial guidelines."

Sir Cliff Richard Credit: Press Association

BBC News crews were outside Sir Cliff's house in Sunningdale before officers from South Yorkshire Police began their searches there on Thursday. The broadcaster broke news of the police operation on its lunchtime bulletins. Since then, Sir Cliff and a number of MPs and prominent lawyers have criticised the involvement of the media.

South Yorkshire Police insists 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.

"The force was contacted some weeks ago by a BBC reporter who made it clear he knew of the existence of an investigation. It was clear he in a position to publish it. The force was reluctant to co-operate but felt that to do otherwise would risk losing any potential evidence, so in the interests of the investigation it was agreed that the reporter would be notified of the date of the house search in return for delaying publication of any of the facts. Contrary to media reports, this decision was not taken in order to maximise publicity, it was taken to preserve any potential evidence. South Yorkshire Police considers it disappointing that the BBC was slow to acknowledge that the force was not the source of the leak. A letter of complaint has been sent to the Director General of the BBC making it clear that the broadcaster appears to have contravened its editorial guidelines.

South Yorkshire Police would welcome an investigation into the original leak. Finally we want to stress that this is an ongoing and complex investigation and we are in the process of gathering evidence. This is likely to take some time and we would caution against any reporting which may be prejudicial. This is in the interests of all parties."

– Statement, South Yorkshire Police


EDL to stage demo in Doncaster

EDL protestors are due to take to the streets of Doncaster

There will be a strong police presence in Doncaster this afternoon when the English Defence League hold a demonstration in the town and the group United Against Facism stage a counter protest.

South Yorkshire Police and Doncaster Council are working with other partners to minimise the impact of today's demonstration in the Hexthorpe area .

Doncaster Superintendant Peter Norman said: "South Yorkshire Police has a duty to keep people and property safe and the public can be reassured that this is our priority.

"We have no legal power to ban the proposed protest and have a duty to respect individual's rights to protest peacefully.

"Careful, detailed planning and regular communication with protest groups has taken place and together with the council, we are making every effort to minimise disruption to the local community and to the road network.

"We will have extra officers on hand to ensure the protest passes peacefully and I wish to reassure local residents and businesses that Saturday's operation will not affect normal policing in Doncaster.

"Regular face-to-face dialogue will continue with the community before, during and after the demonstrations. We continue to thank local people, particularly residents in Hexthorpe, for their cooperation and understanding."

The latest information is that EDL demonstrators will gather from 11am near Doncaster train station. Around 12.30pm, they will make their way along St Sepulchre Gate to march at 1pm into Hexthorpe on Urban Road before listening to speeches at the park near Albion Terrace.

Witness appeal after 73-year-old injured in collision

Police are appealing for witnesses after a 73-year-old woman was seriously injured in a collision in Dinnington.

The accident happened around 9.30am yesterday morning when the woman was in collision with a vehicle in the car park area of the Co-operative supermarket in Rotherham Road, Dinnington.

The woman is currently in hospital in a serious condition.

Officers would like to hear from anyone who may have been at the supermarket or using the cash machine in the car park area this morning, who may have witnessed the collision. Please call 101 quoting incident number 403 of 12 July 2014.

Five in court over firearms charges

Four men and one woman appeared before Rotherham Magistrates’ Court today charged with firearms offences.

Natale Lala, 31, and Maria Lala, 29, both of Moorgate Road, Rotherham, David Webb, 29, and Robert Webb, 28, both of South Crescent, East Dene, and Simon Burrows, 35, of Woodside Court, Wickersley, appeared before magistrates charged with offences under the Firearms Act.

All five have been remanded into custody before their next appearance at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday 22 July.

This follows a number of searches in the Moorgate and East Dene areas of Rotherham.

One of three absconders found by police

Police searching for three missing men from Cheswold Park Hospital have located 23-year-old Joel Hardy safe and well in the Leeds area.

Steven Harrison

Steven Harrison, 24, and John Cairns, 23, are still missing and officers believe that they may be together in the West Yorkshire area.

They were reported missing on Sunday 6 July from Cheswold Park Hospital, Cheswold Lane.

Steven Harrison was granted unsupervised leave and failed to return. He is described as a white man of large build, with blonde hair that is closely shaven.

John Cairns

John Cairns was last seen leaving the hospital at 2.20pm on Sunday 6 July. He was wearing a blue t-shirt with grey tracksuit bottoms and a ‘Firetrap’ cap.

Officers are growing concerned for their safety.


Police investigate after girl is asked to expose herself for money

Police are searching for a man they believe can help with an investigation into an incident in Balby, Doncaster.


A 12-year-old girl was approached by a man and asked to expose herself in return for money in a park of Waverly Avenue on June 8.

The girl refused and called her family for help.

Pc Caroline Thomas said: “This was, understandably, an upsetting and distressing thing to happen to a very young girl, and I would urge anyone with any information to call us immediately.

Sheffield shooting a "targeted attack"

Detectives investigating the murder of a 23-year-old man found shot in Sheffield yesterday morning say it was an isolated incident.

They added the shooting, near Queen Mary Road, Manor, was thought to be a targeted attack.

Extra officers are patrolling the area. The victim was found with gunshot wounds and was taken to hospital where he died a short time later.

"Although we are in the very early stages of this investigation and are very much keeping an open mind as to the circumstances, we do believe that this was a targeted attack and that members of the public should not be unduly alarmed.

"I would also like to appeal to the community for information. If anyone knows something about this tragic incident, however apparently insignificant that information is, I would urge them to call South Yorkshire Police immediately on 101.

"Let us be the judge of how significant the information you hold is."

– District Commander for Sheffield Chief Superintendent David Hartley

Anyone with information should call 101, quoting incident number 166 of 21 June 2014. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Forensic experts at scene of Sheffield shooting

Forensic experts are carrying out detailed examinations at the scene of a fatal shooting in Sheffield. Emergency services were called to waste land off Queen Mary Road in the Manor area of the city in the early hours of this morning.

The 23-year-old victim was taken to hospital suffering from what is believed to be gun shot wounds but later died. Police say he has not yet been formally identified and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

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