privatedetectiveserviceslondon.com reports on Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard's Home Searched Over Sex Claim Police take items away from the apartment after an allegation of sexual assault involving a boy which dates back to the 1980s.10:31pm UK, Thursday 14 August 2014 Video: Cliff Richard's Home Searched Over Sex Claim
Sir Cliff Richard's home has been searched in connection with a sex assault allegation involving a boy - which the singer has dismissed as "completely false".
Sky News understands the accusation against Sir Cliff comes from an event held by American evangelist preacher Billy Graham in Sheffield in 1985.
A search warrant was granted after a historical claim of a sexual nature was made involving a boy who was under the age of 16 at the time.
Police vehicles leaving the singer's Berkshire home Police officers entered the 73-year-old's penthouse apartment on a private art deco estate in the Sunningdale area of Berkshire on Thursday morning after apparently arriving without warning.
A total of eight officers from South Yorkshire and Thames Valley police took part in the five-hour search, starting at about 10.30am. Five unmarked police cars later left the Charters Estate.
No one has been arrested, police said. They stressed the investigation was in its "really early stages".
Sir Cliff performing at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012 In a statement issued as the search was carried out, Sir Cliff, who is currently abroad, said: "For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online. The allegations are completely false.
"Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen.
"However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire today without notice, except, it would appear, to the press.
"I am not presently in the UK but it goes without saying that I will co-operate fully should the police wish to speak to me.
"Beyond stating that today's allegation is completely false it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation has concluded."
The star last week at his Portugal concert. Pic: Len Port/Algarve Newswatch Sky's Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said Sir Cliff, who was knighted in 1995, was not warned about the search.
"Police say they didn't have to break in," Brunt said. "They were let in by, presumably, somebody who is looking after the house.
"He owns a vast property there with a vineyard. We don't know if he is still there, but he has said in the past that he spends his summers in Portugal and his winters in Barbados, where he owns another property.
"Police have given very few details of the allegation, but I am told it is said to have happened in Sheffield.
"They do suggest that more information will be given if a suspect is arrested.
"One other thing to point out is that this isn't part of Scotland Yard's investigation into historical sex crimes - Operation Yewtree - launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
"Whether the initial allegation was made to the Metropolitan Police and passed on to South Yorkshire, that's a possibility. But this is very much a South Yorkshire Police investigation."
Born Harry Webb in Lucknow, India, in 1940, Sir Cliff has become one of the most enduring stars of his era, with hits including Devil Woman, Living Doll and The Young Ones.
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