some 2,000 police officers could be investigated over the roles they played in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster in Sheffield.
The by the Independent Police Complaints Commission has revealed that, in addition to the 1,444 officers from South Yorkshire Police who were on duty, responded to the disaster or involved in the aftermath, another 400 staff members from 30 more police forces or related bodies had played some kind of role in relation to the disaster.
The police watchdog has now started consulting relatives of the 96 Liverpool football fans killed in the crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium in 1989 over its investigation.
The body is to investigate the alterations made to police officer statements – looking at who ordered it, who was involved in the process, and whether pressure was put on individual officers.
It is also to investigate allegations misleading information was passed to the media, MPs and inquiries in a bid to deflect blame for the disaster from the police to the fans.
The IPCC will also look at the actions of police officers in the wake of the disaster, including questioning relatives of the dead about alcohol consumption and the checking of blood-alcohol levels.
Deborah Glass, IPCC deputy chairman, who is leading the investigation, said: “At present we have a list of 1,444 names provided by South Yorkshire Police covering officers on duty at Hillsborough, who responded to the disaster or were involved in the aftermath.
“In addition we are aware 30 more police forces or police-related bodies had officers or staff who played some kind of role in relation to Hillsborough – that covers more than 400 officers.
“We are aware there may be more officers whose details we have not had yet, so we estimate we will have in excess of 2,000 names to analyse.
“The Hillsborough Independent Panel did an extraordinary job in putting information into the public domain which added to public understanding and dispelled myths that existed for 23 years.
“While we will build on the Panel’s work, the IPCC has a very different task: to conduct a criminal and misconduct investigation which would stand up to legal scrutiny in potential future criminal trials or misconduct proceedings.”