Hillsborough: leaked documents reveal police blamed drunk Liverpool fans
HILLSBOROUGH continues to be an unfinished story. Papers leaked from Downing Street to BBC Radio 4’s The World at One reveal that a high ranking police officers told Margaret Thatcher that “drunken Liverpool fans” had been a big part in causing the deaths of 96 people. The media and the police colluded to blame the fans. (The story has travelled.)
The papers seen by the Independent Hillsborough Panel show that four days after the horror, one of Mrs Thatcher’s No. 10 policy unit met with Merseyside police officers. The police said that Liverpool fans turning up without tickets had been a “key factor” in the overcrowding at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday’s ground.
Lord Justice Taylor said the deaths were caused by a failure in crowd control by South Yorkshire Police.
The police are paid to do their utmost to ensure the public’s safety. They failed. Then they blamed the victims.
The late chief constable, Sir Kenneth Oxford, writes:
“A key factor in causing he disaster was the fact that large numbers of Liverpool fans had turned up without tickets.” He “deplored the press’s morbid concentration on pictures of dead bodies”.
“One officer, born and bred in Liverpool, said that he was deeply ashamed to say that it was drunken Liverpool fans who had caused this disaster, just as they caused the deaths at Heysel.”
These are, of course, bits of news taken out of context. The Hillsborough files will not be released delayed until the autumn.
This picture may only be used within the context of the Hillsborough court case. An undated file showing the tunnel at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground, shown to the jury at Leeds Crown Court. * ...at a private prosecution brought by the Hillsborough Family Support Group. Match commander Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield and Superintendent Bernard Murray deny the manslaughter of two of the victims of the disaster at the FA Cup Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's ground on April 15, 1989.