Hillsborough cover-up ‘worse than first thought’

 

The scale of the alleged police cover-up over the Hillsborough disaster was even more wide-ranging than originally believed, it emerged today.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it had uncovered evidence that a further 55 officers had amended their statements following the stadium crush which left 96 Liverpool FC fans dead.

The new discovery is in addition to 164 altered accounts - 116 of which were changed to make them appear more favourable to the police - identified by the Hillsborough Independent Panel last year and which prompted an official public apology by the Prime Minister to the dead fans, their families and the survivors of Britain's worst sporting tragedy.

Among its shocking disclosures, which included the suggestion that 41 of the victims might have survived if they had received adequate medical care on the day of the crush, the panel found evidence that South Yorkshire Police carried out a systematic cover-up to exonerate senior officers and took part in a smear operation to put the blame on fans for being drunk and violent.

In her latest update into the inquiry into the behaviour of South Yorkshire Police, IPCC deputy chair Deborah Glass said investigators would begin interviewing officers later this month. More than 1,000 officers from 20 different forces are expected to feature in the inquiry.

She said the investigating team had been contacted by members of the public identifying potentially significant individuals. It had received 230 pieces of correspondence of which 50 referred to police statements.

"The IPCC knows the people who have contacted us are the tip of the iceberg. Therefore preparations are ongoing for an appeal for witnesses to the disaster and this is expected to be conducted in the autumn," she said.

As well as reviewing the allegations surrounding amendments to statements made by South Yorkshire Police officers who were on duty at the Sheffield Wednesday ground in 1989, the inquiry will examine the role of West Midlands Police which led the original investigation into the disaster.

The probe into the policing of the Hillsborough disaster is the biggest ever undertaken in the history of the IPCC. The police watchdog expects to recruit up to 100 staff to work on the investigation.

A separate team led by former Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart is investigating a range of organisations involved in the preparation for the event and what happened on the day.

Fresh inquests into the deaths of the 96 victims are set to begin by March 31 next year in the north west of England. Verdicts of accidental death from the original inquest in March 1991 were quashed last year.

The IPPC said a further two sets of documents not seen by the Hillsborough panel had been located at West Midlands Police headquarters. The force is now carrying out a further trawl of its archives to ensure there are no other records which have yet to come to light. It also emerged that the Home Office had identified a number of other organisations which did not contribute documents to the independent panel and investigators are now seeking to confirm whether they are relevant to the inquiries.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week