Hillsborough: What's next for South Yorkshire Police?

Video report by News At Ten Presenter Tom Bradby

With South Yorkshire Police facing legal action from the families of the Hillsborough victims, what is next for the force?

ITV News looks at the web of lies which led them here:

  • Lies on the day

The first lies surrounding the Hillsborough disaster began when fans lay dying at 3.13pm that fateful day on April 15, 1989.

Reports were surfacing that Liverpool supporters without tickets had broken into the stadium.

Over the next hour that would be repeated a further two times despite police in charge having ordered an exit gate to be opened.

That night as officers on duty met it is said that claims which became infamously published on The Sun's front page were being discussed - claims which they must have known were untrue.

They included allegations that some fans:

  • Picked the pockets of victims

  • Urinated on police officers

  • Beat up a Pc giving the kiss of life

The Sun's infamous page the day after the tragedy. Credit: ITV News
  • Who told the lies?

The source of the story - a local news agency - told the Hillsborough panel in 2012 that their sources included a police officers, a local MP and the head of the local police federation.

But the scale of lies grew to include the doctoring of 116 witness statements - changed to cast police in a favourable light against those who died.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has even confirmed it is looking at the influence of the Freemasons.

Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton has been suspended. Credit: ITV News
  • What has happened since the Hillsborough jury's unlawful killing verdict?

On Tuesday April 26 a jury who had sat for two years concluded the deaths of the 96 victims was unlawful killing.

In the days that followed it emerged South Yorkshire Police could now face manslaughter charges as two criminal investigations into the disaster get underway.

The Force could also face legal action from the families of the Hillsborough victims.

  • Who is in charge of the Force now?

Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton has been suspended following the conclusion of the Hillsborough inquest.

On April 28 is was announced that Deputy Chief Constable Dawn Copley had been drafted in as a temporary replacement.

But just a day later Mrs Copley stepped down from the position amid claims she is being investigated over her conduct while at Greater Manchester Police.

Dawn Copley stepped down after just one day in the chief constable job.
  • What will happen next?

With no-one at the helm, there have been calls for South Yorkshire Police to be disbanded.

ITV News Correspondent Damon Green said Mrs Copley decision not to take the chief constable job may not seem a big deal in the grand scheme of things - considering the problems the Force has.

The findings of the inquest were so damning and complete they are now facing a civil claim, a disciplinary investigation by the IPCC and possible criminal charges.

But the biggest issue is now one of trust.

  • Follow the latest updates on the story here