Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Police chief to 'listen to families of Hillsborough'

Dave Jones, new interim Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police Credit: PA

The new interim chief constable of South Yorkshire Police has said he plans to listen to the families of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster as he starts work with the beleaguered force.

Dave Jones - the current chief constable of North Yorkshire - has been appointed to run the force on a temporary basis, South Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner (PCC) Alan Billings has announced.

Dr Billings suspended the current chief constable David Crompton following the outcome of Hillsborough inquests last week.

Mr Crompton reiterated an apology for the disaster hours after the verdicts and said he accepted the findings of the inquests jury.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire PCC, Dave Jones, new interim Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police and Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire PCC Credit: PA

But he was criticised by the families for the stance taken by lawyers representing the police during the two-year-long hearings.

He was replaced last week on a temporary basis by his deputy Dawn Copley but she had to step down within a day after it emerged she was under investigation for alleged misconduct by her previous force.

At a press conference in Sheffield, Mr Jones said he will be undertaking a fundamental review of the force but taking care to include the rank-and-file officers out on the streets. He said a senior officer from another force will also be brought in to conduct a review.

The chief said he will be engaging with the Hillsborough families and also those associated with the ongoing controversy over the policing of the Orgreave pickets in the 1984 miners' strike.

He said:

I also think I also need to hear from the families of the Hillsborough disaster, the truth and justice committee for Orgreave and also the public of South Yorkshire about how they experience policing and what they think's not working.

But crucially, I also think that the workforce need to be able to get a voice into that review to make sure we fully understand, warts and all, what we think is actually happening in policing in 2016.

It is just not South Yorkshire Police and I think that's been recognised nationally and we do need a national response to that issue."

I think the service can be institutionally defensive around the way in which it approaches certain things.

– Dave Jones

Dr Billings confirmed he had spoken to Home Secretary Theresa May before making his decision to appoint Mr Jones.

More on this story