1. ITV Report

Police watchdog starts interviewing former officers about Hillsborough

This year's Hillsborough memorial service, at Anfield Photo: Press Association
Deborah Glass of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), Credit: Press Association

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has revealed its progress on its investigations into the Hillsborough disaster.

IPCC Deputy Chair, Deborah Glass, said: "It is six months since I announced our independent investigation into the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.

I am very aware that the recent 24th anniversary of the disaster, and the very sad deaths of John Glover and Anne Williams, remind us all of the impact of time passing, and that everyone affected wants to see timely progress.

"I explained at the time that this was the largest investigation ever undertaken by the IPCC – and the biggest criminal and misconduct investigation ever conducted into the police in England and Wales.

I said that it would be conducted in phases with the first, focusing on laying the foundations, likely to take several months.

That foundation work is almost complete and we are now moving fully into the criminal and misconduct investigation phase. We have made great progress in the recovery of documentation, securing of resources including new premises, development of terms of reference and investigation plans.

"We have been developing our lines of enquiry alongside the review of the documentation and some police officers have now been interviewed.

But this a huge and complex investigation which must be closely co-ordinated with the investigation into the deaths being led by Jon Stoddart, as well as the needs of the inquests.

The coroner, Lord Justice Goldring, will hold the first pre-inquest hearing today and we have made it clear that we will be fully supportive of any decisions he makes on the procedure to be adopted at these inquests, including their timing.

We have said that our investigation will take two years but we have not said that the inquests should be delayed as a result, and we will as necessary prioritise our investigative work to support the inquests.

We will be reviewing our investigation plan after the hearing.

I understand that our timescale may cause frustration.

However in our correspondence and discussions to date with the families and survivors we have sought to explain the complexity of this investigation and that we and all the other organisations involved want to ensure the mistakes that have been made by inquiries into the disaster in the past are not repeated.”

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