Police chief in Hillsborough probe


A senior British police officer accused of helping orchestrate a cover-up to place blame for the country's worst soccer stadium disaster on drunken, rowdy fans could face an investigation leading to possible prosecution, officials said today.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which investigates complaints against the police in England and Wales, said West Yorkshire police had referred Chief Constable Norman Bettison's case to it today following complaints from members of the public.

Mr Bettison worked on the flawed operation at the Hillsborough Stadium in 1989 when 96 soccer fans died in a crush.

He used to serve in the South Yorkshire police in northern England and is currently the most senior officer on the West Yorkshire force.

A report published last week by the Hillsborough Independent Panel produced evidence of a police cover-up after the crush caused by overcrowding at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The report said more than 100 statements taken at the time had been doctored to remove evidence that painted the police in a negative light. The authorities sought to shift the blame to Liverpool fans, portrayed as drunk, aggressive and ticketless.

It also criticised the emergency services for their poor handling of the incident.

The first complaint alleges that Mr Bettison "was involved in the production and supply of misleading information" relating to Hillsborough.

The second complaint concerned comments Mr Bettison made about the incident on September 13th when he defended his force's role in a newspaper opinion piece.

"The IPCC is conducting a detailed assessment of the referral to determine how the allegations should be investigated," the watchdog said in a statement.

Mr Bettison has previously denied any wrongdoing.

British prime minister David Cameron apologised to victims' families after the report was published. Relatives said they wanted police involved in Hillsborough to be brought before the courts.

The IPCC said it would take weeks to analyse the new information set out in the Hillsborough report. The watchdog can refer cases to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether criminal charges should be brought.


Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.