Police ‘failed’ Hillsborough disaster victims, chief constable says

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THE chief constable of South Yorkshire Police has today said the force ‘failed’ victims of the Hillsborough disaster and ‘lost control’ on that day.

Ninety six Liverpool supporters died in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium on April 15, 1989, where their team were to meet Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final.

Today an independent panel into the tragedy found police and emergency services made ‘strenuous attempts’ to deflect the blame on to innocent fans.

The panel found that 164 statements were ‘significantly compromised’, including the removal of 116 negative comments about the leadership of the police.

Chf Con David Crompton apologised to the families of victims and said ‘disgraceful lies’ had blamed Liverpool fans for the disaster in the aftermath.

He added: “On that day South Yorkshire Police failed the victims and families. The police lost control.

“In the immediate aftermath senior officers sought to change the record of events. Disgraceful lies were told which blamed the Liverpool fans for the disaster.

“Statements were altered which sought to minimise police blame.

“These actions have caused untold pain and distress for over 23 years.

“I am profoundly sorry for the way the force failed on April 15, 1989 and I am doubly sorry for the injustice that followed and I apologise to the families of the 96 and Liverpool fans.

“South Yorkshire Police is a very different place in 2012 from what it was 23 years ago and we will be fully open and transparent in helping to find answers to the questions posed by the panel today.”