Hillsborough Report: Police and emergency services covered up to blame fans

Police and emergency services made "strenuous attempts" to deflect the blame for the Hillsborough disaster onto innocent fans, newly published documents about the tragedy revealed today.

The disclosures were made by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which has been overseeing the release of thousands of official documents relating to Britain's deadliest sporting disaster.

Prime Minister David Cameron offered a "profound" apology to the families of the 96 people who died, telling the House of Commons that today's report made clear that "the Liverpool fans were not the cause of the disaster".

Mr Cameron said that Attorney General Dominic Grieve will review the report as quickly as possible in order to decide whether to apply to the High Court to quash the original, flawed inquest and order a new one. It will be for the court to make the final decision.

Today's report showed that the Hillsborough families had suffered a "double injustice", both in the "failure of the state to protect their loved ones and the indefensible wait to get to the truth", and in the efforts to denigrate the deceased and suggest that they were "somehow at fault for their own deaths", said Mr Cameron.

He told MPs: "With the weight of the new evidence in this Report, it is right for me today as Prime Minister to make a proper apology to the families of the 96 for all they have suffered over the past 23 years.

"On behalf of the Government - and indeed our country - I am profoundly sorry for this double injustice that has been left uncorrected for so long."

Ninety six Liverpool supporters died in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium on April 15, 1989 where their team were to meet Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final.

Introducing the report to the Hillsborough families at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool, Bishop James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool and chairman of the panel, said: "For nearly a quarter of a century the families of the 96 and the survivors of Hillsborough have nursed an open wound waiting for answers to unresolved questions. It has been a frustrating and painful experience adding to their grief.

"In spite of all the investigations they have sensed that their search for truth and justice has been thwarted and that no-one has been held accountable.

"The documents disclosed to and analysed by the panel show that the tragedy should never have happened. There were clear operational failures in response to the disaster and in its aftermath their were strenuous attempts to deflect the blame onto the fans. The panel's detailed report shows how vulnerable victims, survivors and their families are when transparency and accountability are compromised.

"My colleagues and I were from the start of our work impressed by the dignified determination of the families."

He added: "The panel produces this report without any presumption of where it will lead. But it does so in the profound hope that greater transparency will bring to the families and to the wider public a greater understanding of the tragedy and its aftermath.

"For it is only with this transparency that the families and survivors, who have behaved with such dignity, can with some sense of truth and justice cherish the memory of their 96 loved ones."

  • The full report and documents can be read here

Comments (3)

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1:27pm Wed 12 Sep 12

DuberryandBeanofan says...

It shouldn't have taken 23 years to find out the truth about this national tragedy. Justice is needed for the families and friends of the 96 lives which could and should have been saved.
It shouldn't have taken 23 years to find out the truth about this national tragedy. Justice is needed for the families and friends of the 96 lives which could and should have been saved. DuberryandBeanofan
  • Score: 1

5:15pm Wed 12 Sep 12

ger elttil OX2 0EJ says...

DuberryandBeanofan wrote:
It shouldn't have taken 23 years to find out the truth about this national tragedy. Justice is needed for the families and friends of the 96 lives which could and should have been saved.
One assumes Maggie got her friend Murdoch to make up the slanderous piece in his paper about the Liverpool fans being to blame. Then after a meeting with the police chief approved alterations to over a hundred police statements, which then led to The Taylor Inquiry, which led to football being taken away from the working class with the all seater stadium. And it is all as we (officially) now know based on corruption from the very top down to the very bottom. It is very sad that the government of the day used the tragic deaths of so many people to promote their anti-working class policies, and prolong the agony for so many families that knew the truth about their loved ones , but had to stand by and see them slandered and libeled by the press, backed by the government. If Mr Cameron has any scruples at all, he will press for criminal charges for all involved in this cover up. This is a very black day for The conservative Party, and their association with The Sun of the day. Mr Murdoch needs to be called in to answer the question "who told you to print a story pinning the blame on Liverpool fans" And it is just another Black mark on Maggies dictatorship of the time. I hope this will be the start of the closure for the families who have fought so hard for the truth to out. RIP to all the football fans murdered by our authorities on that day.
[quote][p][bold]DuberryandBeanofan[/bold] wrote: It shouldn't have taken 23 years to find out the truth about this national tragedy. Justice is needed for the families and friends of the 96 lives which could and should have been saved.[/p][/quote]One assumes Maggie got her friend Murdoch to make up the slanderous piece in his paper about the Liverpool fans being to blame. Then after a meeting with the police chief approved alterations to over a hundred police statements, which then led to The Taylor Inquiry, which led to football being taken away from the working class with the all seater stadium. And it is all as we (officially) now know based on corruption from the very top down to the very bottom. It is very sad that the government of the day used the tragic deaths of so many people to promote their anti-working class policies, and prolong the agony for so many families that knew the truth about their loved ones , but had to stand by and see them slandered and libeled by the press, backed by the government. If Mr Cameron has any scruples at all, he will press for criminal charges for all involved in this cover up. This is a very black day for The conservative Party, and their association with The Sun of the day. Mr Murdoch needs to be called in to answer the question "who told you to print a story pinning the blame on Liverpool fans" And it is just another Black mark on Maggies dictatorship of the time. I hope this will be the start of the closure for the families who have fought so hard for the truth to out. RIP to all the football fans murdered by our authorities on that day. ger elttil OX2 0EJ
  • Score: -35

8:15pm Wed 12 Sep 12

faatmaan says...

whilst having every sympathy for the families concerned, if those without tickets had not entered the ground this horrific loss of good life would not have happened, yes the Police now seem to be perverting the course of justice, but has this been deliberately buried by both governments to minimise retribution to the People who would now seem to be accountable.
whilst having every sympathy for the families concerned, if those without tickets had not entered the ground this horrific loss of good life would not have happened, yes the Police now seem to be perverting the course of justice, but has this been deliberately buried by both governments to minimise retribution to the People who would now seem to be accountable. faatmaan
  • Score: 0

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