Majority believe those accused of sexual abuse crimes should only have their identities revealed after a guilty verdict.
South Yorkshire Police raided the home of Sir Cliff Richard in the early afternoon of the 14th August, in regards to an alleged sexual offense which occurred in the 1980’s. The BBC presented live coverage of the raid from a helicopter hovering over his home.
This prompted controversy and raised concerns over the legal and ethical implications of public accusations of this sort, considering there has been no charge as yet. Should the identities of those people in question be revealed before a charge or trial?
A recent YouGov poll conducted for Channel 5, finds that 61% of the British population think those who are accused of sexual abuse crimes should only have their identity revealed once they are found guilty. However, a quarter (26%) think those accused of the same crimes should have their identity revealed earlier, once they are charged. A further 7% think their identity should be released at the earliest time as possible - upon accusation.
Concerning Sir Cliff Richard specifically, 72% of respondents though that the BBC was wrong to show coverage of his house raid, in contrast to just 15% who thought it was right.
Both the BBC and South Yorkshire Police are now under serious scrutiny for their actions from the Home Office, potentially facing charges of illegal activity and a public inquiry.