SOUTH Yorkshire’s top policeman said the Hillsborough disaster could never happen again.
Chief Constable David Crompton said inexperienced officers would never be put in charge of policing football games today, stressing every senior officer has to undergo a probationary period first.
Advances in technology, including use of more CCTV cameras and police helicopter, means there is more chance of an incident or disputed action being captured on camera.
The police chief said most people now carry a mobile phone with a camera which means ‘nobody could get away with telling lies’.
Superintendent David Duckenfield, in charge of policing the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough on the day of the disaster, lied that fans had stormed their way into the ground - causing the crush which led to the deaths of 96.
“Nobody could get away with telling lies because if there was a problem at a gate most people have a phone with a camera on it so everybody would be taking footage and within minutes it would be on Facebook,” said Chf Con Crompton.
There are now closer links between police force and referees and kick-off times can be changed with seconds to go if there are issues.
Chf Con Crompton said his officers are ‘more open, more transparent and more accountable’ than during the 1980s.
He said fans are treated differently now than they were in the 80s, when hooliganism was rife.
“The 80s were the bad old days in terms of hooliganism, but we have come a long way,” said Chf Con Crompton.
“We engage with the fans more and by and large they are a better behaved.”