Home Secretary will write to forces over Hillsborough disaster

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THE police watchdog says it has accepted the Home Secretary’s offer to write to all forces in the country asking for disclosure of documents on the Hillsborough tragedy.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission also revealed it had received three allegations of surveillance from families of victims of the 1989 disaster.

In a monthly update, deputy chair of the IPCC, Rachel Cerfontyne, said a letter from Broudie Jackson and Canter, the legal representatives of 22 families, had been received with specific allegations relating to one individual.

Another family claims a member of the family was placed under surveillance, Ms Cerfontyne said, while a third alleges they had property stolen from them.

Ms Cerfontyne said work on recovering documents for criminal investigations was ongoing ahead of new inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium.

She said: “It will also be further assisted by the Home Secretary’s offer to write to all police forces to ask them to disclose all documents they hold relating to Hillsborough. We have accepted this offer.

“We will obviously work hard to ensure any documents produced as a result of this request which are of relevance to the inquest are supplied to the coroner’s team as soon as possible.”

Scotland Yard refused to comment last month on claims undercover officers spied on Hillsborough campaigners.

It refused a Freedom of Information request by the magazine Private Eye for files on the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and the Hillsborough Family Support Group amid claims the campaigners were put under surveillance.

The force has a policy to neither confirm nor deny what police moles have been up to, in a bid to protect undercover officers.

The commission also revealed yesterday that there were 12 police officers still to be interviewed of the 243 identified by them whose accounts had been amended.

Twenty three are dead, 12 were deemed unfit to be interviewed and 12 had declined to be interviewed. The IPCC said there were indications that some of those who had declined to be interviewed had reconsidered.

The fresh inquest into the disaster was ordered when a panel of three High Court judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, quashed the accidental death verdicts. A damning report laying bare a cover-up which attempted to shift the blame for the tragedy on to its victims was published in September 2012.