January 31, 2023

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Hillsborough disaster: Families of victims profoundly failed, police admit

A joint statement from the National Police Chiefs Council and the College of Policing says there were “profound failings” over the handling of the Hillsborough disaster and that “Policing got it badly wrong”.

The statement is in response to a 2017 report from former Liverpool Bishops James Jones commissioned by Theresa May while Home Secretary.

The 117-page document was produced in consultation with the victims’ families and made 25 recommendations in order “to ensure the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families is not repeated,” Bishop Jones said.

In the report, he said there should be a charter for bereaved families, a “duty of candour” for police officers, and that bereaved families should have public funding for legal representation at inquests where public bodies are represented.

The Police’s response to the report is the first from a major public body. Commenting, Ch Con Andy Marsh, from the College of Policing, said: “For what happened, as a senior policing leader, I profoundly apologise. Policing got it badly wrong.”

In April 1989, ninety-seven Liverpool supporters were unlawfully killed in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium while their side took on Nottingham Forest in the semi-final of the FA cup.

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