Singer who faced false sexual abuse allegations presses for anonymity for suspects

Cliff Richard has said people still think there’s “no smoke without fire” over false sexual assault allegations, as he launched a petition to give anonymity to suspects before they are charged.

The singer, whose home was raided by police in 2014 over an unfounded sexual abuse claim, said his aim was a “rebalancing of the justice system” and that suspects should be named only in “truly exceptional circumstances”.

All victims of rape and other sex crimes in England and Wales, including children, are automatically guaranteed anonymity for life from the moment they make a complaint that they are the victim of a sex crime.  The law is different in Scotland, but the practice of respecting anonymity is the same. It is a criminal offence to publish the complainant's identity or any information that might lead to them being identified.

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