Police are criticised for not cooperating over Hillsborough disaster

Hillsborough Football Stadium Disaster. Photo:  Rex Features
Hillsborough Football Stadium Disaster. Photo: Rex Features
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Police officers who have failed to cooperate over the Hillsborough disaster should be forced to, an MP has suggested.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said 13 officers had refused to cooperate with an investigation into alleged police misconduct over the alteration of statements about the Sheffield tragedy.

During a House of Commons debate, Keith Vaz, Home Affairs Select Committee chairman, said every officer asked for an interview should be ‘made to cooperate’.

He said: “They need to be made to cooperate so we get to the truth.”

MPs expressed concern South Yorkshire Police only recently produced 2,500 police officer notebooks found on police premises, which now need to be examined to establish whether any contain entries relating to Hillsborough.

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett, Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP, said: “The horror of finding there is still information, in terms of these handbooks, which have just been discovered, will have shocked us all once again.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “As soon as the IPCC approached South Yorkshire Police requesting police notebooks which may relate to the disaster, we told the IPCC the most thorough police search techniques, led by specially trained officers, were required to ensure every last item was recovered.

“Most of these books will have little or no relevance to the disaster. However, it is essential the IPCC investigators are able to make that decision rather than South Yorkshire Police.”

Ninety-six Liverpool fans were crushed to death in the disaster at Sheffield Wednesday’s football stadium in 1989.