1,000 more officers to be probed in cover-up inquiry

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Almost 2,500 past and serving police officers from 19 different police forces are to be investigated as part of the inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster cover-up, it was revealed last night.

The Independent Police Complaints commission (IPCC) said the 1,444 names of South Yorkshire Police officers handed over for investigation by Chief Constable David Crompton last month represent “only the start” of what will be the biggest-ever inquiry into British policing.

IPCC chief executive Jane Furniss told MPs officers from another 17 forces across the country were also present on the day of the 1989 stadium disaster, and that West Midlands Police would also be investigated for its role in allegedly helping South Yorkshire cover up its failings when the force was supposed to be investigating what went wrong.

“The list (of names) that Mr Crompton provided was only the start of it,” Ms Furniss said.

“There are actually going to be significantly more people listed from South Yorkshire. There are also the officers to be identified by West Midlands.

“There are other forces who provided officers on the day; significant numbers from two or three forces and much smaller numbers from others.

“I think we’re talking in terms of... towards another thousand.”

She was speaking before a hearing of Parliament’s Home Affairs select committee yesterday, alongside IPCC chairwoman Dame Anne Owers.

“This is obviously going to be, as we have said, a large and complex investigation,” Dame Anne warned. “We need to see who needs to be investigated... Who may be a witness, who may be a suspect.”