THE police watchdog has written to South Yorkshire’s Chief Constable David Crompton over a controversial email he sent to colleagues about the Hillsborough Report.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has contacted Mr Crompton over an email he wrote in relation to plans for the force’s handling of the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report last year.
Mr Crompton wrote that the ‘Hillsborough Campaign for Justice’s version of certain events had become the truth even though it isn’t’.
The police chief also went on to say: “I have a feeling that the media machine favours the families and not us, so we need to be a bit more innovative in our response to have a fighting chance otherwise we will just be roadkill.”
South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright, wrote to the IPCC when he was made aware of the email, which was released by South Yorkshire Police under a request made under the Freedom of Information Act.
The force was asked to release correspondence between the Chief Constable and his senior management team sent regarding the force’s preparation for the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report in September, which laid bare a cover up which attempted to shift the blame for the Hillsborough disaster - which claimed 96 lives - from the police to the victims.
IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said: “The IPCC has considered the content of these emails and documentation carefully.
“The majority of it raises no issues, but there was, however, one email from the Chief Constable which caused me concern.
“It referred to preparing what ‘amounts to the case for the defence’ and stated that the ‘Hillsborough Campaign for Justice’s version of certain events had become the truth even though it isn’t’. I consider that this is at best ill judged, and at worst offensive and upsetting.
“I have written to Chief Constable Crompton to express these views.
“Families and individuals affected by the Hillsborough tragedy, along with the wider public, will rightly be concerned over the apparent attitude displayed by this communication within the highest ranks of the force which is currently under investigation in relation to the actions of its officers and staff around the disaster.
“These regrettable actions are now a matter for the Police and Crime Commissioner of South Yorkshire.
“The IPCC has written to Police and Crime Commissioner Wright, to alert him to the fact that, whilst these emails have serious implications for public confidence, they do not amount to recordable conduct and the IPCC does not require a formal referral.
“I have indicated to Police and Crime Commissioner Wright that it is his responsibility to decide what further action is appropriate.”