Police on duty during the Hillsborough disaster in Sheffield and its immediate aftermath are being asked to search for notebooks they may have kept – after it emerged none have ever been handed in.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission discovered the lack of notebooks as part of its probe into an alleged police cover-up aimed at shifting blame for the 1989 disaster – which claimed the lives of 96 football fans – away from South Yorkshire Police and on to supporters.
An IPCC spokesman said entries in the books ‘may prove to be a significant piece of evidence’.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “South Yorkshire Police has begun a search for any police pocket books that may exist from the time in order to help the ongoing investigation by the IPCC.
“All officers on duty that day in April 1989 were told at the time to make detailed accounts of their experiences in separate documents and not their pocket books.
“However, having begun interviewing police witnesses in relation to the events of the day, it’s become apparent to the IPCC some South Yorkshire Police officers may have made entries in their pocket notebooks after the tragedy.
“To date, there have been no searches for pocket notebook entries. The IPCC is now seeking to retrieve any books which may still exist and may contain relevant material.
“The IPCC has therefore asked that South Yorkshire Police establishes whether there are any relevant books held within the force or by any serving officers or staff.
“The force is contacting officers known to have been associated with the tragedy.”
Ninety-six Liverpool supporters were crushed to death in the disaster at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium.