Cliff Richard sex crime probe widens ‘significantly’

The police investigation into veteran singer Cliff Richard has “increased significantly in size” and involves “more than one allegation”, South Yorkshire’s Chief Constable has revealed.

Cliff Richard sex crime probe widens ‘significantly’

David Crompton said the “expanding nature” of the investigation meant he could not give a date when it would be concluded.

Richard said the claims against him were “absurd and untrue” and he had “never, in my life, assaulted anyone”.

The entertainer was interviewed under caution last year by detectives investigating a claim of a sex crime involving a young boy in the 1980s, but was not arrested or charged.

In a letter to Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Mr Crompton said the force was in regular contact with Richard’s lawyers.

But in a statement the 74-year-old singer said he had not been given details of the allegations against him.

Richard said: “I have no idea where these absurd and untrue allegations come from. The police have not disclosed details to me. I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail.

“I have co-operated fully with the police, and will, of course, continue to do so.

“Beyond stating that the allegations are completely false, it would not be appropriate for me to say anything further until the investigation has concluded, which I hope will be very soon. In the meantime, I would, again, like to thank everyone for supporting me through this unbelievably difficult period.”

The publication of the letter from Mr Crompton, dated February 10, followed a scathing independent report into an agreement between South Yorkshire Police (SYP) and the BBC which led to a raid on the singer’s home being broadcast live around the world.

The independent report found that the deal “certainly interfered with his privacy and may well have caused unnecessary distress”.

Former chief constable Andy Trotter said SYP should never have a made a deal with the broadcaster — a decision taken after BBC reporter Dan Johnson went to the force saying he knew they were investigating the veteran entertainer.

Mr Crompton said a Metropolitan Police investigation into the leak to the BBC had been unable to find the source.

In his letter, Mr Crompton said: “South Yorkshire Police detectives are in very regular contact with Cliff Richard’s lawyers. Typically this involves a verbal update about once a fortnight.

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