Live updates

  1. Granada

Hillsborough families take class action against police

Credit: ITV News Granada Reports

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.

Temporary Chief Constable appointed after Crompton resignation

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 has been South Yorkshire's deputy since September last year

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.

– Dawn Copley

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 turn out for Hillsborough vigil

Thousands of people stood in St George's Square in Liverpool this evening, for a special Hillsborough service.

Thousands pack St George's Square in Liverpool

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.

Crime Commissioner: Chief Constable suspended ''with a heavy heart''

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.''

– Dr Alan Billings, PCC South Yorkshire

He added that he had to make the decision as he saw "public trust and confidence was beginning to drain away".

South Yorkshire Chief Constable suspended

It has been confirmed David Crompton, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, has been suspended.

Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton Credit: Dave Higgens/PA

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.

South Yorkshire Police Federation chairman claims force has changed since Hillsborough

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.


Home Secretary to make statement about Hillsborough inquests

The conclusions of the Hillsborough inquests will reach parliament today.

Relatives of the victims who died in the Hillsborough disaster outside the Hillsborough Inquest in Warrington, where the inquest jury concluded that the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed. Credit: Press Association

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.’

– Joe Rollin, OTJC Chair
  1. National

Ambulance service: 'Lives could have been saved at Hillsborough'

Lives "could have been saved" at Hillsborough if the emergency response was difference, Yorkshire Ambulance Service said today.

Its chief executive said the service accepted an inquest's findings on Tuesday that the 96 fans who died during the 1989 disaster were "unlawfully killed".

"Lives could have been saved on the 15 April 1989 had the emergency response been different", Rod Barnes said.

"On behalf of Yorkshire Ambulance Service, I am truly sorry. Our thoughts remain with the families, as they continue to grieve and come to terms with what they have heard in evidence over the last two years".

Mr Barnes added that the service's ability to respond to major disasters had changed "beyond recognition" in the intervening 27 years.

Load more updates