South Yorkshire Police probe into Sir Cliff Richard cost nearly £800,000

The South Yorkshire Police probe into allegations against Sir Cliff Richard cost the force nearly £800,000, it has been revealed.

Wednesday, 29th November 2017, 8:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th November 2017, 8:38 am
Sir Cliff Richard

Figures disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 'Operation Kaddie' cost the force a total of £788,733.84, with £766,844.58 spent on staff.

The force said: "The total number of South Yorkshire Police officers working on Operation Kaddie throughout the lifetime of the operation was 20."

A total of £10,867.99 was spent on hotel fees during the course of the operation, £5,758.48 on hire cars, £1,553.10 on train tickets and £554.50 on other travel costs.

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There was another £3,155.19 of 'miscellaneous' expenditure.

South Yorkshire Police launched an investigation into pop icon Sir Cliff, now 77, after a man came forward in 2014 and claimed he was sexually assaulted by the performer at a Christian concert at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane stadium in the mid 1980s.

The probe, which lasted two years, involved police officers raiding Sir Cliff's Berkshire home while the BBC filmed the pre-planned operation and named the singer.

Three other men then made allegations, which South Yorkshire Police investigated and prepared files on, for the Crown Prosecution Service to consider.

Five other claims were not referred to the CPS.

Sir Cliff always maintained his innocence and was never arrested over the allegations, which related to alleged incidents between 1958 and 1983.

He criticised South Yorkshire Police for tipping off the BBC about the raid beforehand, leading to his identify being released on air as officers entered his home.

Speaking after the Crown Prosecution opted not to press charges, Sir Cliff said: "I was named before I was even interviewed and for me that was like being hung out like live bait."

The costs involved in conducting the police operation do not include legal fees incurred by South Yorkshire Police when Sir Cliff sued the force over its handling of the operation.

The force agreed to pay 'substantial' damages to the singer for disclosing private information about him to the BBC before his home was raided.