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Chief Constable under fire over Hillsborough email

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has criticised South Yorkshire Police's Chief Constable for emails in which he says Hillsborough campaigners are not telling the truth.

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South Yorkshire Police Constable: Hillsborough campaigners' version has "become the truth"

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.”

– IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long

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