Hillsborough police ‘neglected injured fans and assaulted supporters’ - officers probe claims

The Hillsborough disaster unfolds

The Hillsborough disaster unfolds

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Claims that some frontline police officers at Hillsborough failed to assist injured fans, and swore at and assaulted supporters, are under investigation.

Investigators with Operation Resolve, the criminal probe into the events of the Hillsborough disaster, are looking into more than 30 complaints about the conduct of officers on the ground on the day of the disaster.

The misconduct element of the investigation is looking at alleged failures by the police including officers not assisting the injured, which is being treated as potential neglect of duty.

Names, not numbers: All 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster

The operation is also examining claims against police officers of assault, unlawful arrest and ‘incivility’.

Details have been released in an update by Assistant Commissioner Jon Stoddart about the progress of Operation Resolve, which was established in December 2012 and has been running parallel to the inquest process, which concluded earlier this year with a finding that the 96 Liverpool supporters who died in 1989 were unlawfully killed.

The potential criminal offences it is investigating include gross negligence manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, perverting the course of justice and breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Safety at Sports Ground Act.

‘Individuals and organisations’ under investigation include former high-ranking officers at South Yorkshire Police such as match commander David Duckenfield, as well as the force itself, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield Council, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the Football Association.

Mr Stoddart said the operation is ‘on track’ to deliver full evidence files to the Crown Prosecution Service by the end of the year, with the CPS then considering whether to bring criminal charges against different parties.

He said: “Now that the inquests have concluded, Operation Resolve has made initial contact with a number of the experts it wishes to instruct and they have confirmed their willingness to engage with us. Work has begun in securing expert opinion from those experts in order to assist us with the ongoing criminal investigation.

“Operation Resolve has been working closely with the CPS to provide files of evidence so that they can review our evidence and provide ongoing guidance and early advice on the focus of the investigation.

“This work will culminate in Operation Resolve providing a final full file of evidence to the CPS by the turn of the year so that they can make their final independent charging decisions.

“We will continue to work with the CPS to build and review the evidence and carry out any further investigative work they deem necessary.”

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