The families of the Hillsborough victims have welcomed the early retirement of West Yorkshire's Chief Constable who they accuse of taking part in a cover up to shift blame for the disaster from the police to the fans.
Sir Norman Bettison is to step down after a complaint about his role following the deaths of the 96 fans was referred to the official police watchdog. Jon Hill reports.
Mark Burns-Williamson, chair of West Yorkshire Police Authority agrees with Norman Bettison's decision to retire next March.
Trevor Hicks from Keighley lost two daughters at the Hillsborough tragedy. He's given his reaction of Sir Norman Bettison's retirement, calling for him to lose his knighthood.
– Trevor Hicks, father of two victims
We are glad he's realised his position is untenable. However I'm determined that he doesn't escape his just deserts. I'll make sure he's stripped of his knighthood and his fellowship of Liverpool University. He should leave with nothing, like he did the families.
Margaret Aspinall's 18-year-old son James died in the tragedy. The chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group said:
– Margaret Aspinall
"Obviously I'm very very pleased. I'm absolutely delighted that he's going. But then, he'll be going on his full pension, and I'd like to know the full reasons why he's choosing to retire as soon as this. Why didn't he stay, then, until the IPCC came out with their investigation?"
Anne Williams, whose 15-year-old son Kevin died on the Leppings Lane terrace at Hillsborough, said the findings of the recent report left Sir Norman with no choice but to retire:
– Anne Williams
"I think the whole lot of them who have been involved for these 23 years should all go for the hurt that they have caused us for 23 years. I don't think he would have retired if it wasn't for the Hillsborough report."
Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers paid tribute to Sir Norman Bettison tonight, saying:
– Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers
"Sir Norman Bettison has served the public as a police officer with distinctionfor nearly 40 years, and at the rank of chief constable since 1998. At the national level he has made an outstanding contribution to the work of the police service as a whole in cutting crime and keeping the public safe. He has led in a number of national areas such as the development of neighbourhood policing and the police approach to preventing terrorism and violent extremism. His depth of knowledge and experience is highly regarded within the service and he will be a great loss to policing."
Norman Bettison retiring just like Duckenfield & Murray. IPCC & Govt must continue investigation into his role in cover-up. #Hillsborough