Families who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough Disaster are calling for Theresa May to send a team to conduct a 'rigorous' examination of South Yorkshire Police.
We are appalled to see the shambles in South Yorkshire Police following the Hillsborough Inquest verdict. SYP leadership have showed a lamentable refusal to face up the fact that their organization needs to take along hard look at their values and ethics.
We believe the rank and file officers in the force are being let down by their leaders. Sadly the only solution would appear to be the application of remedial measures and we have today asked Theresa May to commence the procedure to enable this.
The Home Secretary needs to send a team in to look at the force root and branch, to speak to the rank and file and see what they think is wrong in the force and what needs to be done. We believe there needs to be a rigorous and continuing examination of the ethical behavior of the force at every level.
The Force’s motto is ‘Justice with Courage’ – sadly they have shown neither.’
Deputy Chief Constable Dawn Copley, who was appointed acting chief constable of South Yorkshire Police after the suspension of David Crompton following the Hillsborough inquest findings, has "offered to step back to her substantive role" while another temporary chief constable is sought, South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said.
It comes after news of Ms Copley being investigated over her conduct with Greater Manchester Police came to light. She was one of several officers accused of "corrupt practice" by another officer who was later sacked.
Kent Police investigated the claim but the findings are yet to be made public.
“Yesterday, I asked Deputy Chief Constable Dawn Copley to temporarily act as Chief Constable following the suspension of David Crompton.
“There has been media comment today about Mrs Copley. I would like to make clear that Mrs Copley fully declared the details of allegations into her conduct when she applied for the post of Deputy Chief Constable here at South Yorkshire Police.
“As this matter has not yet been concluded I am unable to comment publicly on the allegations and the outcome but as soon as I am able, I will do so. In the meantime Mrs Copley has my full support. However, Mrs Copley has made clear to me that she does not want any further negative publicity or criticism to be levelled at the Force. In the interests of the Force and the workforce she has therefore offered to step back to her substantive role to allow me to seek support from the College of Policing in identifying another Chief Officer from outside the Force to act as Temporary Chief Constable until a recruitment process can take place.
“Mrs Copley will need to stay in post for a very short period of time, to deal with pressing matters, but, at her request, this will be for the shortest possible period. “Events have moved very quickly over the last few days. I am sorry that I cannot say anything more definite at this time but we have been working closely with national bodies about these issues and hope to make a further announcement in the coming days.”
Families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster are pursuing legal action against South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police.
The case, pursued by families of the 96 fans who died, accuses the police of a "systematic cover up" and "abuse on an industrial scale".
This week an inquest jury delivered a finding of "unlawful killing" over the fatal incident on April 15, 1989.
On Wednesday, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton was suspended, a move welcomed by the families of Hillsborough victims.
The legal case was issued at the High Court last year but publication of the claim was prevented until after the inquest concluded.
The action, brought by law firm Saunders Law on behalf of hundreds of those affected by the disaster, is for "misfeasance in public office".
The firm said in a statement: "In addition to the police wrongdoing that caused the deaths, there is evidence of the systematic cover up intended to transfer the blame for what happened from South Yorkshire Police to the innocent, by spreading lies, doctoring evidence, pressurising witnesses and suppressing the truth.
"The evidence points to abuse on an industrial scale by both South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police, beyond any 'one bad apple' analysis.
"In addition to actions by individuals, the evidence suggests institutional misfeasance by these bodies directed against our clients and the fans generally."
The news of the action comes after it emerged retired officers from South Yorkshire Police were told to be proud of their work in the 1980s, in a message mistakenly made public on a website in the wake of the Hillsborough inquest findings.
The Deputy Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police has been appointed as Temporary Chief Constable after the suspension of David Crompton earlier today.
Dawn Copley was promoted to deputy in September 2015, having previously worked in the North West of England.
The Police and Crime Commissioner has taken the decision today to suspend Chief Constable David Crompton, and has asked that I act as Temporary Chief Constable at this time, which I have agreed to do. This is a significant day for South Yorkshire Police. However, we are absolutely determined to maintain our focus on delivering the best possible policing services to the communities of South Yorkshire.
Mr Crompton's suspension comes the day after an inquest into the Hillsborough disaster delivered a finding of "unlawful killing" for the 96 football fans who lost their lives on 15 April 1989.
He had already announced he would retire in November after 31 years. That announcement followed a report, commissioned in the aftermath of the Rotherham grooming scandal, which found that the response of South Yorkshire police to the abuse had missed opportunities.
Thousands of people stood in St George's Square in Liverpool this evening, for a special Hillsborough service.
The vigil began this evening to remember the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy - and to reflect on their families' long fight for justice, which resulted in a verdict of ''unlawful killing'' yesterday.
Crowds chanted "for the 96, justice" before music by The Beatles was played and 96 young people laid red roses for the victims.
The names and ages of those who died will be read outside the hall, where a memorial emblazoned with the words Truth and Justice stands over a row of 96 lanterns.
Dr Alan Billings, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, has confirmed David Crompton's suspension, saying he had reached the decision "with a heavy heart" and due to "the erosion of public trust and confidence".
It comes the day after an inquest into the Hillsborough disaster delivered a finding of "unlawful killing" for the 96 football fans who lost their lives on 15 April 1989.
''Following the result of the verdicts yesterday, the continuing criticism that has been directed at the Chief Constable and the eroding trust and confidence in South Yorkshire Police I've been left with no choice other than to suspend David from his duties as Chief Constable of South Yorkshire police.
I've reached this decision with a heavy heart following discussions with David both in the run up to and following the delivery of the Hillsborough verdicts.
My decision is based on the erosion of public trust and confidence referenced in statements and comments in the House of Commons this lunchtime along with public calls for the Chief Constable's resignation from a number of quarters including local MPs.
This suspension is with immediate effect pending a legal process.''
He added that he had to make the decision as he saw "public trust and confidence was beginning to drain away".
It has been confirmed David Crompton, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, has been suspended.
It comes after the families of the 96 people who died during the Hillsborough disaster called on the chief constable to resign immediately, and accused the force of seeking to subvert and mislead the inquests into their deaths.
A jury yesterday returned a verdict of unlawful killing. The inquests criticised the behaviour of South Yorkshire police and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
Mr Crompton yesterday said the force “unequivocally accepted” the verdict of unlawful killing, adding that they got it 'catastrophically wrong' that day.
In March Mr Crompton announced that he would retire in November after 31 years in policing.
A vigil for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster will be held tonight, as South Yorkshire Police face possible criminal prosecutions over the deaths.
Yesterday, a jury concluded that the 96 victims were unlawfully killed. But Neil Bowles, the chairman of South Yorkshire Police Federation, says the force has changed.
The conclusions of the Hillsborough inquests will reach parliament today.
Home Secretary Theresa May will make a statement to the House after Prime Minister's Questions.
It comes a day after a jury concluded that the 96 football fans who died at the football stadium in Sheffield 27 years ago were unlawfully killed.
Meanwhile campaigners demanding an inquiry into police action in the so-called Battle of Orgreave say they have been 'spurred on' following the outcome of the Hillsborough inquests.
Ninety-five people were arrested during clashes between police and miners on the outskirts of Sheffield in 1984.
The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) paid tribute to 'the dedication and tireless commitment of the formidable' Hillsborough campaigners.
‘I am overjoyed that justice has finally been done for the Hillsborough families. The verdicts demonstrate that with the determination and public support campaigners can overturn miscarriages of justice. The verdicts will spur on the OTJC and its demand for a full public inquiry into the policing at Orgreave on 18 June 1984.’
A special event on the St George's Hall plateau will be held this evening. It will be led by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.Read the full story ›