Former officers shun Hillsborough interviews

A floral tribute to the Hillsborough victims
A floral tribute to the Hillsborough victims

Seven former police officers whose accounts of the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy were amended have refused to be interviewed by investigators leading a new inquiry.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has so far interviewed 57 serving and former officers about their roles in the disaster, as part of the investigation which started a year ago.

In its latest update, deputy chairman Deborah Glass said the process of interviewing officers was taking longer, partly due to them giving fuller accounts than expected.

However she said seven retired South Yorkshire Police officers had refused to be interviewed. Only serving officers or suspects can be compelled to take part.

The Yorkshire Post revealed in July that several retired officers from the county were worried about getting involved because of what they said were speculative statements by senior politicians “and others who should have known better”.

Ms Glass said she believed her investigation and the probe into the deaths themselves led by former Durham chief constable Jon Stoddart “can finally get the answers to the questions many of the families and survivors still ask, and I trust that they will deliver a fair and just outcome”.

Lord Justice John Goldring, the coroner overseeing new inquests, yesterday said he remained committed to ensuring they start next spring, as scheduled, in Warrington during which jurors are likely to be taken to see Sheffield’s Hillsborough stadium.