Cost of Hillsborough

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POLICE chiefs are putting together a plan to pay for possible future court cases which could be brought over the Hillsborough disaster, should the force or officers face charges.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is reviewing documents, which are now in the public domain, to assess the conduct of South Yorkshire Police before, during and after the day of the disaster on April 15, 1989.

Chief Constable David Crompton said: “The whole process will certainly be costly for the force, and we are planning how to manage that with a budget that is decreasing.

“I have never made any secret of the fact there were huge mistakes made on the day.

“Every Chief Constable since then has apologised for these mistakes, and whichever way you look at Hillsborough if you are part of South Yorkshire Police it makes extremely uncomfortable reading.

“Even if you had nothing to do with the events of that day, which 95 per cent of our organisation did not, it makes people feel incredibly uncomfortable.

“Some of the operational decisions made on that day have become notorious, and some of the statements made in the immediate aftermath have become equally infamous.

“These are all being looked at as part of the inquest process and as part of the inquiry being carried out by the IPCC, which have our full support.”

The budget for South Yorkshire Police for 2011-2015 has been cut by around £45 million. Bosses have already made savings of £30m and are now trying to find ways of reducing spending by £15m before March 2015.

Chief Constable Crompton has warned of further job losses, on top of the 600 posts axed since 2010. He is also planning to sell off police buildings and merge units to reduce overheads.