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The Independent Police Complaints Commission will investigate the role of the West Midlands Police in the Hillsborough disaster, and their role in a possible cover-up.
The investigation will affect a large number of former and serving officers and will look specifically at the following critical issues:
- The amendments to statements – who ordered it, who knew about it, who was involved in the process and was pressure put on individual officers?
- The allegations that misleading information was passed to the media, and MPs, Parliament and Inquiries to deflect blame from police
- The role of West Midlands Police and those who led that investigation into the disaster
Margaret Aspinall from the Hillsborough Families Support Group, whose 18-year-old son James died in the disaster has welcomed the police watchdog's announcement:
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has announced it will investigate a cover up by police of their role in the Hillsborough tragedy. Deputy Chair Deborah Glass said the report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel forced them to act:
"The report revealed extremely serious and troubling issues for the police. [...] We have learned details of the run-up to the disaster including the unheeded warnings from previous incidents, the disaster itself, and its aftermath, including what appear to be attempts to distort the truth."
"These findings are a testament to the tenacity of the Hillsborough families' long campaign for truth and justice. Their dedication to the memory of those they loved – and the support of the people of Merseyside – has been humbling. "
Deputy chair of the IPCC Deborah Glass said "without a shadow of a doubt" it will be the biggest ever investigation carried out into police behaviour in the UK.
The report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel published last month alleged that 164 police statements were altered in the wake of the tragedy, 116 of them to remove or change negative comments about the policing of the match and the ensuing disaster.
The IPCC has said they "do not underestimate the size of their task" and will work to identify any individuals that require investigation. They said:
Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has said that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is now looking at evidence from the recent Hillsborough report for evidence to charge individuals or corporate bodies.
The IPCC has announced it will investigate the actions and response of the West Midlands Police to the Hillsborough tragedy. The IPPC said the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report revealed "extremely serious and troubling issues for the police."
The IPPC said it will investigate the following:
- The amendments to statements – who ordered it, who knew about it, who was involved?
- The allegations that misleading information was passed to the media, and MPs, to deflect blame from police
- The role of West Midlands Police and those who led that investigation
Latest ITV News reports
IPCC have said that a "large number" of current and former police officers face investigations into their role in the Hillsborough disaster.