Fury over police decision to bank Hillsborough disaster cash

The Hillsborough Leppings Lane end at 15.07 during the FA Cup Semi-Final April 15, 1989
The Hillsborough Leppings Lane end at 15.07 during the FA Cup Semi-Final April 15, 1989
Have your say

Relatives of Hillsborough disaster victims have reacted angrily to revelations that South Yorkshire Police banked money found on the day their loved ones died.

The force paid £14.53 into its accounts after officers were unable to identify who the cash belonged to.

Police chiefs stress the money was found on the ground.

Some relatives of the 96 football fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough Football Stadium in 1989 have criticised South Yorkshire Police for retaining the cash.

A memo details items retained by the force following the disaster, where the owners could not be traced.

It was released by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which analysed and made public all the Hillsborough files held by organisations over the years.

It reveals that while officers were cautious about destroying clothing, loose change was banked.

Relatives of some victims have criiticised the decision.

Sheila Coleman, from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said: “That the force responsible for the deaths of 96 people kept some of the money found at Hillsborough is beyond belief.

“The fact that they decided to keep it, and not even consider donating it to the disaster fund, speaks volumes as to the mind-set of the South Yorkshire Police and their contempt for Liverpool football fans.”

Margaret Aspinall, of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: “This is an absolute disgrace.”

A police spokeswoman said: “A memorandum, dated January 16, 1992, is contained within the Hillsborough Disaster Archive. This document lists property recovered following the disaster.

“The document sought to deal exclusively with items, including cash, which could not be attributed to individuals. The cash, totalling £14.53, which was found at the ground and not on victims, in accordance with the policy operating at that time, was banked by the Finance Department after ownership could not be established.

“Effectively, South Yorkshire Police were obliged by law to place unclaimed monies into the Police Property Act Fund maintained by the then Police Authority which would then have been available, with other unclaimed monies, for payment towards such charitable purposes as the Authority might determine.”