Former Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, Richard Wells, told ITV News it was "absolutely essential" all those involved in the Hillsborough cover-up should face prosecution.
Mr Wells, who was put in charge of the force in 1990, said:
"I think it's absolutely essential that wherever the best legal minds available to us and to the Government are able to establish good clear evidence for a sustainable prosecution of anybody regardless of rank, regardless of whether they are still serving or retired, that should happen.
"That's the only way we are going to lance this constantly festering boil."
He added: "I'm not specifically talking about the police alone. I'm saying anybody, absolutely anybody who has contributed in a dishonest or criminal way ought to be arraigned before the courts of law. Who it is will depend on what the evidence produces."