Police ‘baton-charged fans’ after taunts over Hillsborough tragedy

Tributes placed on the Shankly Gates next to the Hillsborough Memorial at Liverpool's Anfield Stadium.
Tributes placed on the Shankly Gates next to the Hillsborough Memorial at Liverpool's Anfield Stadium.
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SOUTH Yorkshire Police officers baton-charged Hull City fans during the Yorkshire derby at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday after being taunted with chants about the Hillsborough disaster, supporters have claimed.

Trouble flared on the concourse at half-time when City supporters chanted “murderers” and “Justice for the 96” at officers policing the match, fans said.

This led to clashes with police and a number of arrests and several fans were ejected from the ground.

According to postings on Twitter and unofficial fans’ websites, Hull fans also let off smoke bombs and a food stall was closed after pies were thrown at officers.

One tweet describing the violence said: “Chaos on the concourse, fans and police in genuine fighting, missiles thrown, charging the police back, batons drawn, utter mayhem.”

Some Hull fans criticised the policing, with one writing: “My lad asked me if Sheffield police ‘always act like this’.”

The game, which was won by Hull, attracted the Championship’s highest attendance of the day, 23,441.

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police said: “Police can confirm that a couple of arrests were made and a number of fans were given dispersal notices under Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act.

“The majority of fans were well behaved with the exception of a few supporters. At the end of the game police had to escort a number of Hull City fans on foot to the railway station and not the tram network.”

The force suffered a terrible blow to its reputation after the shocking scale of the Hillsborough disaster cover-up was revealed last month.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel revealed it had attempted to cover up its failings by changing statements and seeking to blame fans, who were exonerated in the report. A total of 96 Liverpool fans died at the stadium in 1989.