Deaths due to Negligence?
Ninety-six Liverpool supporters died in a human crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium on April 15, 1989, during the start of an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
The families of those who died will this morning be given first access to more than 400,000 pages taken from organisations including the Government, Sheffield City Council and the emergency services.
The release of the Hillsborough documents comes 23 years after the disaster and follows a long campaign by relatives and those who survived.
An inquiry into the disaster by Lord Justice Taylor, published in 1990, found that the main reason for the disaster was a failure by police to control the crowd.
But no individual or organisation has been held fully accountable for the disaster –something the families say is an ‘injustice’.
Deaths In Custody
A total of 333 people have died in or following police custody over the past 11 years, but no officer has ever been successfully prosecuted, according to a watchdog’s report.
Prosecutions were recommended against 13 officers based on “relatively strong evidence of misconduct or neglect”, but none resulted in a guilty verdict.
Even with video evidence…
PC Simon Harwood was found not guilty of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson at the 2009 G20 protest. As Tomlinson walked home from work, hands in his pockets, Harwood hit him with a baton and shoved him to the ground. The court has seen footage of Harwood’s attack on Tomlinson, who is seen walking away from the police line. As a female officer steps forward to talk to
Tomlinson, Harwood passes two police dogs in order to hit and push Tomlinson to the ground. Tomlinson barely has enough time to take his hands out of his pockets to protect himself as he falls. He died shortly afterwards. And this constable has been in trouble for violent behaviour before…
I am a supporter of the work done by the Police; we need them. But this is surely wrong. If social unrest grows here as the cuts bite, can we expect more truncheons, kettles, kicking and bullying to keep us all in check? Especially since no-one is likely to be held responsible – other than members of the public.