South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner considers appeal after High Court ruling

Dr Alan Billings
Dr Alan Billings
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South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner is considering appealing over a High Court ruling that he was wrong to sack a former Chief Constable.

PCC Alan Billings suspended David Crompton then called for his resignation over a statement he made following the inquests into the deaths of 96 football fans in the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989.

A jury concluded that police conduct contributed to or caused the deaths of the football fans in the stadium disaster and the families of those who died complained that a line of questioning by South Yorkshire Police during the inquests was designed to try and blame the fans.

After the inquests, Mr Crompton appeared to justify the questioning of the fans' conduct.

Dr Billings said the statement showed Mr Crompton did not 'grasp the gravity of the situation' and that it was 'insensitive and damaged both the force and the Chief Constable himself'.

But Mr Crompton challenged the decision and took his case to judicial review in the High Court.

Today, judges ruled that the sacking was unlawful.

Dr Billings said: “I am disappointed by the judgement that has been handed down by the High Court today.

“I will be seeking permission to appeal the outcome, from the Court of Appeal, as this decision has potentially serious implications for the governance arrangements for the police service generally and not just in South Yorkshire.

I will be consulting about that with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners before deciding how to proceed, as I recognise the process has already been expensive and it would not necessarily be in the interest of the South Yorkshire tax payers to foot the bill, despite the national importance of the decision in this case.”