30th Jun, 2022

Families of Hillsborough disaster victims pursue legal action against West Midlands Police

Steve Carpenter 5th May, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THE FAMILIES of those 96 football fans who tragically lost their lives at the infamous Hillsborough disaster 27 years ago are pursuing legal action against West Midlands Police (WMP).

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) are looking into allegations that WMP along with South Yorkshire Police, were part of the conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and there are also claims of misconduct in public office and perjury, which could lead to criminal charges by the end of the year.

Lawyers acting an behalf of the victims’ families are continuing a High Court misconduct action, which began last year, against both forces for ‘misfeasance in public office’

WMP carried out an initial investigation into the conduct of South Yorkshire Police shortly after the disaster and also spoke to Liverpool fans who were there on the day, but the IPCC will look into how this work was conducted.

The news came just days after a jury found that the 96 Liverpool were unlawfully killed at the beginning of the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough, the home of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.

The jury also came to the verdict that there were police failings at the match which led to their deaths.

A statement released by WMP said: “We aware of the ongoing proceedings.

“Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of loved ones who died and were injured in the Hillsborough tragedy.

“We recognise the impact the inquests have brought upon them.”

Several Sky Blues fans gave evidence at the latest inquiry after experiencing similar crushing and chaos at the stadium just two years before during the club’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Leeds United.

The match was mentioned in a report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel which was released two years ago and revealed that debriefings about how the facilities at the stadium were inadequate and crucial information from the match was not shared.

In a special report, one fan told the Observer he felt the Sky Blues had a ‘lucky escape’ after their quarter-final clash at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday, while another described scenes of ‘mayhem’ when looking over at the Leppings Lane end during the semi-final.

One fan, who was just 14 at the time, even recalls pulling a friend up from the lower tier, just as Liverpool did on that fateful afternoon on April 19, 1989.

Former Football League Fan of the Year, Kev Monks, said: “There were so many Coventry fans when we got there but there didn’t seem to be any sort of organisation.

“I remember being in the pub after we’d won that day and all the Coventry fans were comparing injuries picked up during the game because of the pressure. Some had cuts and others had bruises. It was ridiculous.”

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