Interviews over amended Hillsborough disaster statements almost complete

The tragedy unfolding at Hillsborough.
The tragedy unfolding at Hillsborough.
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Interviews of 258 police officers whose accounts of the Hillsborough disaster were amended in the wake of the tragedy are nearly complete.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is tasked with interviewing all the officers whose statements were altered after the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough in April 1989, where fans were crushed to death on the terraces.

It emerged that some statements had been altered when the Hillsborough Independent Panel examined and made public all the files and documents held by organisations in the wake of the disaster.

The findings of the panel, published in September 2012, led to the IPCC - the police watchdog - launching its largest ever inquiry.

It covers the actions of the police in the aftermath of the crush at Hillsborough.

The watchdog is looking into amendments to police statements, the actions of the police officers after the disaster and the role of West Midlands Police - the force brought in to investigate what happened at the time.

The inquiry is running alongside Operation Resolve, which is a wider-ranging criminal investigation into the disaster.

And inquests into the deaths of the 96 fans at the game are also currently underway after the original ‘accidental death’ verdicts were quashed following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report, which contained new evidence suggesting 41 of those who died might have been saved.

The inquests, being held in Warrington, are expected to conclude next summer.

IPCC chairman Rachel Cerfontyne said of the 258 officers whose statements were altered only three planned interviews are outstanding.

Of the officers affected, 23 are now deceased, 13 have been deemed too ill to be interviewed while 11 have declined to assist the investigation.