New appeal for Hillsborough disaster witnesses

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Thousands of witnesses who gave statements to the police after the Hillsborough disaster are being urged to give their accounts again.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is examining police actions following the stadium disaster in Sheffield 1989, wants those who spoke to the West Midlands Police - the force which gathered evidence for a inquiry into the causes of the tragedy and the subsequent inquests - to describe their experiences.

The IPCC probe follows the publication of a report by an independent panel set up to examine Hillsborough files held by organisations for two decades.

It laid bare a cover up aimed at shifting blame for the disaster away from the police and onto the fans, where police statements were altered to distort the truth.

IPCC Deputy Chairman Deborah Glass said: “We want to speak to those people about their experiences of dealing with West Midlands Police.

“We also know some of you have never been able to give your account. This is your opportunity.

“I know this will be difficult for many of you.

“It will be difficult for you to recount these incredibly traumatic events. It will be difficult for you to put your trust in the establishment after being let down so often in the past.

“It will be difficult for you to believe that after 24 years what you say can make a difference.

“But we need your help. And your help will make a difference.

“I can assure you we want everyone to have a voice.

“Don’t think what you have to say is unimportant, or covers something that someone else will tell us. Whatever information you have will be important, it will matter.

“Hearing your experience can only assist our investigation. It will help us build the most comprehensive account there has ever been of what happened at Hillsborough.”

Visit www.ipcc.gov.uk/Hillsborough-witness-appeal to download a witness form.