Hillsborough disaster: Second police force investigated over 'criminal conduct'

Analysis shows statements taken by West Midlands Police officers from supporters are not the same as the details given by the same individuals in questionnaires

A second police force has become the focus for alleged criminal conduct after watchdogs found “differences” in witness statements taken from football fans at the Hillsborough disaster.

Analysis shows statements taken by West Midlands Police officers from supporters are seemingly not the same as the details given by the same individuals in questionnaires they had completed earlier.

The huge new investigation into the Hillsborough disaster by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has already uncovered a mass of statements given by police officers on the day that were doctored by South Yorkshire Police.

The disaster, which killed 96 Liverpool fans in 1989, is now at the centre of the biggest inquiry into police wrongdoing in the UK.

Today the IPCC said "amendments or changes" were made to an as yet unknown number of fan statements and appealed for ordinary football fans who were at the ground to come forward and give the "definitive account" of what happened on the day.

Chris Mahaffey, a former Metropolitan Police detective and now senior investigator for the IPCC, said: "We must assess whether there's any evidence of criminal conduct.

"Our analysis, certainly of these large number of questionnaires completed by fans at the disaster, when you make comparison with these questionnaires against other documentation that appears to come from the same person, there are differences.

"Who was actually directing this, if there was someone directing this?"

Deborah Glass, deputy chair of the IPCC, said the damning report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel published last September had already raised "serious questions" over the work done by the West Midlands police force.

West Midlands Police ran their own inquiry into the handling of the disaster by South Yorkshire Police, who orchestrated a cover-up, falsified documents and blamed innocent supporters for the tragedy, the independent panel report found.

But the West Midlands force investigation formed the basis of Lord Taylor's judicial inquiry into the disaster, the subsequent decision not to prosecute individuals, and the flawed inquests whose verdicts were quashed last year.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk