Hillsborough coroner issued with names of officers who have refused to help investigators

Rachel Cerfontyne new lead commissioner for the Hillsborough Investigation..
Rachel Cerfontyne new lead commissioner for the Hillsborough Investigation..
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The names of police officers who have failed to co-operate with investigations into the Hillsborough disaster are to be handed over to the coroner overseeing the new inquests into the deaths of 96 football fans.

Investigators are working their way through a list of 242 officers whose accounts of what happened on the day of the disaster in 1989 are believed to have been amended.

Of the 242 officers identified, 22 are dead, 12 have been deemed as unfit for interview, two have not yet responded to attempts to contact them and 13 have declined to be interviewed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is investigating the actions of police officers in the aftermath of the disaster to establish whether there was any misconduct, said coroner Lord Justice Goldring will then decide whether to disclose the names.

IPCC deputy chairman Rachel Cerfontyne said: “The officers interviewed to date are both serving and retired.

“They have been treated as witnesses to help build up a picture of the processes they went through when making their statements.

“We are nearing completion of the interviews of those officers whose accounts were subject to amendments.

“This means we are beginning to focus on those key people who are of significant interest to us, and we expect to interview those before the start of the inquests.

“That will be a significant step as we expect to be identifying and interviewing people as suspects.”

The IPCC team has also been newly handed 500 pocket books from South Yorkshire Police officers, which were only recently discovered.

They are being examined to establish if any contain entries made on the day of the disaster.

Ms Cerfontyne said: “Until analysed, there is no way of knowing whether any of these books contain any entries which are relevant to Hillsborough.”