South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner says he has accepted the Chief Constable's apology over an email saying Hillsborough campaigners were not telling the "truth".
I have received the letter from the IPCC following my informing them of concerns about an internal email written by the South Yorkshire Chief Constable shortly before the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report last year and which I considered used language that could be construed as inappropriate and insensitive.
I note the comments of the IPCC, including that the email has ‘serious implications for public confidence’ but that it does not amount to a conduct issue and therefore does not require a formal referral.
As previously stated, I have raised my concerns and disappointment with the Chief Constable but I have now accepted the apology he has issued and I believe I have taken all appropriate action at this stage to deal with the matter.
– Shaun Wright, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire
The emails criticised by the IPCC contain correspondence between the Chief Constable and his senior management team. The theme of the correspondence is the force's preparation for the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report in September 2012.
"The IPCC has considered the content of these emails and documentation carefully. The majority of it raises no issues, but there was, however, one email from the Chief Constable which caused me concern. It referred to preparing what "amounts to the case for the defence” and stated that the "Hillsborough Campaign for Justice's…version of certain events had become the truth even though it isn't”. I consider that this is at best ill-judged, and at worst offensive and upsetting. I have written to Chief Constable Crompton to express these views.
"Families and individuals affected by the Hillsborough tragedy, along with the wider public, will rightly be concerned over the apparent attitude displayed by this communication within the highest ranks of the force which is currently under investigation in relation to the actions of its officers and staff around the disaster.
"These regrettable actions are now a matter for the Police and Crime Commissioner of South Yorkshire. The IPCC has written to PCC Wright, to alert him to the fact that, whilst these e mails have serious implications for public confidence, they do not amount to recordable conduct and the IPCC does not require a formal referral. I have indicated to PCC Wright that it is his responsibility to decide what further action is appropriate.”
The IPCC has criticised the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, David Crompton, about emails in which he says the Hillsborough campaigners are not telling the "truth".
The IPCC has written to Mr Crompton to express concerns about the email, which he wrote in relation to plans for the force's handling of the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report.
In January 2013 the Police and Crime Commissioner of South Yorkshire, Shaun Wright, wrote to the IPCC when he was made aware of the email. It was one of many supporting documents released under Freedom of Information Act.