– South Yorkshire Police statement
South Yorkshire Police acknowledges the decisions today by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions following the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report and the online archive of documents relating to the 1989 Disaster.
The Force will continue to cooperate fully with any judicial processes, as shown by the full cooperation with the Panel during the three-year disclosure process. Chief Constable David Crompton has already stated in a letter to family members that he will not oppose any application for a new inquest.
Deborah Glass, Deputy Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission
We strongly welcome the IPCC investigation and the DPP review of the evidence for criminal charges. It is appalling that the Hillsborough families have had to wait so long for the truth. Now they are owed justice. Both the tragic events on the day and the full scale of the police cover up need to be properly investigated now including criminal investigations.
However the families should not be expected to wait for a long time for the inquest to be reopened too and we urge the Attorney General to act as swiftly as possible.
We welcome the determination of the IPCC Chair and Deputy Chair to get to the truth, but we also need assurances from the Home Secretary that the IPCC will have the powers and resources it needs - given problems that have arisen over previous investigations and the extensive nature of these inquiries.
We also have to recognise that the current system of accountability and investigation into policing problems failed to get to the truth over Hillsborough for 23 years.
– Yvette Cooper MP, Shadow Home Secretary
No one should ever have to fight as hard and as long as the Hillsborough families had to do simply to get the truth about the death of a loved one. That is not acceptable and should never be allowed to happen again. And the public and police need to have the confidence that when things go wrong they are swiftly sorted out so that they don't cast a shadow over policing in future. That is why the Stevens Commission is drawing up plans for a new and stronger Police Standards Authority for the future."
Allegations that statements were altered and that misleading information was passed to the media and MPs will be investigated and could lead to police misconduct and criminal charges, the IPCC has said.
Claims that officers questioned bereaved next of kin about their loved ones' alcohol consumption, carried out alcohol testing and checked the police national computer to find information about the dead and injured could also lead to charges.
– Deborah Glass, Deputy Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission
We will investigate the role of South Yorkshire Police and West Midlands Police in these matters. This will mean that a large number of current and former officers will be under investigation, including Sir Norman Bettison, whose conduct was referred by the West Yorkshire Police Authority."
Sir Norman, currently Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, has been referred to the IPCC over allegations that he provided misleading information after the tragedy.
- It was revealed today that Sir Norman Bettison is also under investigation for allegations that he "attempted to influence the decision-making process of the West Yorkshire Police Authority in connection with the referral that they had made".
The biggest ever inquiry into police actions in the UK is to be launched after the on the Hillsborough disaster.
Police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said a large number of serving and former officers will be investigated over what happened on the day of the tragedy in 1989, and during the alleged cover-up afterwards.
Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer also said he will look at whether any individual or corporate body should be charged over the football stadium disaster, which left 96 people dead.