Police chiefs in South Yorkshire have applied to the Government for millions of pounds to help meet the cost of dealing with inquiries into the Hillsborough disaster.
Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright has applied to the Home Office for funding to protect his force’s finances.
He fears the force could be left millions of pounds out of pocket by the time inquests into the 96 deaths at Hillsborough are carried out as well as possible court cases arising from inquiries under way into the worst sports stadium disaster in the UK’s history.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking into possible police misconduct after it emerged officers’ statements were altered to try to shift blame for the disaster away from South Yorkshire Police and on to the fans at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
There is also a separate probe under way, led by former Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart, who is looking into whether there was any criminality involved in the disaster.
Mr Wright, who is responsible for setting South Yorkshire Police’s budget, said: “I will always be steadfast in my commitment to the aim of finally resolving outstanding concerns about Hillsborough.
“However, at the same time I have a responsibility to ensure that the financial implications should not put at risk the plans I have drawn up for dealing with the present day and safety needs of the people and communities of South Yorkshire.”
Chief Constable David Crompton said: “The Hillsborough costs are a concern to us because if we weren’t to get any support from the Government then whatever way you look at this the only place the funding can come from is from the monies available to support policing in South Yorkshire.
“Our number one priority on a day-to-day basis, while at the same time supporting the Hillsborough inquiries, is to provide policing for the people of South Yorkshire.”