South Yorkshire Police officer rapped for ‘Sir Cliff tweet’

A South Yorkshire police officer has received ‘management advice’ after he tweeted about the arrest of a 73-year-old by Operation Yewtree detectives last year, it has been reported.

Singer Cliff Richard

According to a national newspaper, the message posted on Twitter is believed to have referred to incorrect online rumours that the man arrested was Sir Cliff Richard. Management advice is the lowest sanction handed out for misconduct.

Sir Cliff was later interviewed under caution by South Yorkshire Police following claims that he sexually assaulted a young boy at a concert in Sheffield in 1985.

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His Berkshire home was searched in August last year by police investigating the sexual assault allegation. The singer denies any wrongdoing and has not been arrested.

South Yorkshire Police allowed the BBC to film the search and it was broadcast live on television.

It asked a police watchdog to look into whether the unnamed officer was the source of leak to the BBC which led to its reporter approaching the force.

When the case was referred back to the force, it carried out its own probe which concluded the officer was not the source of the leak.

In a statement today, South Yorkshire Police said it made a referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which was “referred back to the force”.

It added that the officer who published the tweet was not involved in the Cliff Richard investigation.

A spokeswoman said: “The force carried out its own investigations into the matter, which confirmed that South Yorkshire Police was not the original source of information. The officer received management advice.”

The force was rapped by The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee for allowing the BBC to broadcast coverage of the raid.

It is understood Sir Cliff is considering suing the force for damage to his reputation.

His lawyer Gideon Benaim said he had been caused ‘immeasurable harm’ by ‘premature and disproportionate’ reporting.