Hillsborough Disaster officers could face criminal charges

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Criminal charges could soon be brought against police officers over alleged misconduct in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has announced it has been working with the Crown Prosecution Service for ‘some months’ as it continues its investigations.

The IPCC launched its investigation in October 2012 following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s damning report. It is the biggest criminal investigation into alleged police misconduct ever conducted in England and Wales, with more than 1,700 people providing information so far.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: “The CPS have been providing our investigative staff with guidance ahead of building files of evidence that may be used as the basis for decisions around criminal charges.

“We have begun to put in place a dedicated team that will support this work in the coming months. This team will work solely on providing the CPS with the information they need, ensuring it is structured and presented in a way that enables any charging decisions to be made as quickly and efficiently as possible once our investigation has concluded.

“The investigation is making continual progress and we are identifying new lines of enquiry on a daily basis. Detailed analysis work is furthering our understanding of how SYP gathered and handled evidence in those days immediately after the disaster.”

A spokesman for the IPCC has said it cannot comment on how many retired and serving officers are under investigation while inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground in 1989 are still ongoing.

The IPCC has also revealed 24 family members of Hillsborough victims have made allegations they were put under police surveillance in the aftermath of the disaster.

A spokesman said: “Out of the 24 family members who made allegations, we have now completed 17 interviews. Investigators are now following several lines of enquiry resulting from these interviews.

“Our enquiries continue around burglaries that took place at the Hillsborough Justice Campaign shop in Liverpool and the home addresses of one of the complainants.

“In addition, we are liaising with the Home Office about any materials they may hold relating to covert activity around the time of, and following, the disaster.”