Hillsborough probe into frontline cops

A scene from the Hillsborough disaster
A scene from the Hillsborough disaster

More than 30 complaints about the conduct of frontline police officers at the Hillsborough disaster are now under investigation.

An update issued by Operation Resolve, a criminal probe into the day of the disaster, said 33 complaints about the behaviour of officers are currently being looked at as part of the wider investigation.

Operation Resolve has previously revealed that allegations of officers not assisting injured supporters, committing assaults, swearing at people and making unlawful arrests have been made.

An update into the investigation said: “The IPCC is managing the part of Operation Resolve’s investigation that is examining the actions of South Yorkshire Police, providing independent oversight and scrutiny of the investigation.

“Operation Resolve is currently investigating 33 complaints about the conduct of police officers at Hillsborough relating to the managed investigation.

“Whilst the investigation continues, it is a current priority to further understand the concerns and the expectations of those that have made complaints to ensure that the investigation can deal with them as effectively as possible.”

The wider investigation is attempting to establish whether any individual or organisation is criminally culpable for their role in the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool supporters died.

South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield Council, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the Football Association are all under criminal investigation. Among the others under investigation are former high-ranking officers at South Yorkshire Police, but not all the individual suspects are police officers.

Potential offences being examined include gross negligence manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, perverting the course of justice and breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Safety at Sports Ground Act.

Operation Resolve plans to submit evidence files to the Crown Prosecution Service towards the end of this year.

A parallel investigation by the IPCC examining an alleged police cover-up in the aftermath of the disaster has said it is also on course to provide files to the CPS by the turn of the year so decisions can be made on whether criminal charges will 
be pursued.

The IPCC has said 160 complaints are being investigated including allegations of lost witness accounts and young people being interviewed without an appropriate adult present. The watchdog is also assessing a complaint about the conduct of suspended chief constable David Crompton in relation to his handling of the inquest process.