Sir Cliff Richard and the Legacy of Operation Yewtree.

Police continue to hunt for historical sex offences:

Since the conclusion of Operation Yewtree the police continue to pour more man hours into any and all investigations of historical allegations of sexual abuse. Sir Cliff Richard is the latest celebrity to be taken to task. At the same time the police are working hard to try to change the public’s view of their (the police’s) dogged determination to pursue these allegations through to court at all

From the outset, the onus is put on the alleged abuser. A quiet word to the press about raiding a celebrity’s house, mention no names, it will take them five minutes to find out whose property it is, if they don’t already know. Let the press do the police’s dirty work, releasing the name of said celebrity while the police sit back and wait for others to come out of the woodwork. Sorry; doesn’t sit right with me.

Failings of the past don’t justify current police attitudes:

These historical sex offences are pursued with an almost manic obsession by the police because they failed so abysmally over the Savile affair. Complaints had been made over the years by various people about his (Savile’s) behaviour. All swept under the carpet by various police forces due to his ‘celebrity’ status. A situation they are determined not to allow happen again. But has this whole thing swung too far in the opposite direction?

Operation Yewtree was born out of the Savile debacle and the hunt was on. Although many investigations are no longer connected with Yewtree; anyone who decides they have been hard done by in the past, can put in a complaint. This will almost certainly guarantee the targeted celebrity’s name will be dragged into the spotlight. The press, hungry for more scandal, will ensure it, and it would seem, with the full blessing of the police.

With Operation Yewtree now completed, a list of those caught in the net has been released. Not including Savile: (care of

• 18 men were arrested by police.
• 3 have already been tried and found guilty.
• 8 were found to have no case to answer.
• 5 are awaiting trail and one a retrial on one offence, having been found not guilty of 12 others.
• 1 was found deceased after being charged.

Times and attitudes were different back then:

I agree the guilty verdicts seem totally justified. But that still doesn’t alter my opinion of the overall way these enquiries are conducted. Most of us, as we grow older, find our way of thinking changes. How many times have you been chatting with old friends, or looking at old photos and thought, ‘was I really that stupid?’ ‘Did I really do that?’ Situations from years ago can be changed, altered over the years, either deliberately or subconsciously; especially by a vindictive mind.

It’s not that I don’t think these things happened, I’m sure they did. What I’m trying to get across is that they happened when the thinking and attitudes of many of those concerned, was different. When the mindset was tuned to the lifestyle of the time. Triumph_Herald_convertible_Flower_Power_(1)

The majority of these events go back to the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s. It was a different era. It was a time of free love, the pill, flower power and sex drugs and rock and roll. The pill had emancipated women; and the likes of Germaine Greer were rushing around burning their bras.

It was my time, my era, when a new girlfriend was taken to the cinema and sat willingly in the back row. A game of grope and don’t grope ensued, before leaving the cinema for a Wimpy on the way home, and a date made for the following evening.

A time of groupies and band followers, a time when some girls openly admitted to sleeping with anyone and everyone, if it got them closer to their favourite band, DJ, or celebrity of the moment. A time when young girls of fourteen and fifteen would leave home with friends, call into a ladies W.C. and walk out all makeup, mini-skirts and high heels.

Looking every bit the 18-19 year olds they purported to be. Girls who would dress up, and queue up, to get into Top of the Pops. Girls who would happily ‘fool around’ with any BBC cameraman, floor manager, clapper boy or anyone else who said they could get them a podium dancing place, to be seen by the country, dancing on nationwide TV. Or get them a meet with their favourite band or singer, or an invite to the after filming party.

Most turned out to be false promises, the girls going home spitting and cursing the guy who had taken (consensual) advantage of them. But it didn’t stop them going back the following week and trying again. For some though, as the years have passed, that dalliance, or fooling around with a still prominent celebrity, plays on the mind. The incident(s) change in the mind’s eye, they feel they were betrayed, letdown or used by this person they see regularly on TV, appearing to be without a care in the world. They have read the papers about the Savile affair, police asking ‘victims’ to get in touch. Payback time is around the corner.

The police are trying hard to change public perception of the law:Yew_tree

Over the months there has been a certain amount of kickback from some of those caught up in this dragnet, and from independent commentators in the press and on the Internet, who feel the pendulum has swung too far away from honesty and fairness.

The police themselves have worked hard to change the perception of innocence and guilt. Subtle changes in the wording of verbal and written police reports, used to justify their apparent obsession with alleged historical sexual offences.

The 2013 Yewtree report set out to change the public’s thinking about these allegations. The heading of the report gave an insight into its contents. According to the police report, what were, or should have been, the ‘complainants’ or ‘alleged victims’ became ‘victims’. These ‘alleged allegations,’ or ‘alleged allegations of abuse,’ became ‘evidence’.

The whole thing designed to try to change how the public received these historical alleged allegations. At the same time justifying the police’s attitude of, give us the (alleged) evidence and we will build a case against the (alleged) abuser. Taking the burden of proof from the complainant and placing it squarely on the shoulders of the accused: Guilty until proven innocent.

Yewtree facts care of:

Images care of: By Danrok (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
By Ian Parkes from Buxton, United Kingdom (Flower Power Uploaded by oxyman) [CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Mike Kirby [CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Share with your friends
To report this post you need to login first.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *