IPCC Hillsborough Prosecutors Stand by Decision

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The IPCC’s deputy chair, Rachel Cerfontyne, and Operation Resolve head, Rob Beckley have stood by their decision to prosecute 23 individuals and organisations in relation to the Hillsborough disaster.

The announcement has brought mixed reactions with many claiming some individuals are not facing prosecution that should be.

The two people heading up the investigations said they are presenting their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).  They said everyone that can face a viable prosecution has been put forward.

Charges that could be levelled include gross negligence, manslaughter, and perverting the court of justice.

Some families were describing it as a momentous day that represented progress since the 2012 Hillsborough Independent Panel Report, while others said it was frustrating and insulting.

Ms Cerfontyne told the press, “I am aware that some of the families are feeling disappointed around there being only eight. When you have waited nearly 28 years to get to this stage, when you feel so let down by the criminal and judicial processes, as many of the Hillsborough families feel, I think it’s quite inevitable there’s going to be some disappointment.

“It would be hard to know what we could do, no matter how well we did it, that would actually feel like justice after all this time. I think we recognise that and understand it.

“However, what we have to do is, we have to be impartial, we have to be independent and robust and comprehensive. But we have to follow the evidence, we have to go where the evidence takes us.

“If there was a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, or there was perverting the course of justice, who was it making those decisions? Who was leading that? Whose intent was it? Inevitably in a command and control hierarchical situation you are not going to end up with a massive number of people – you are looking for those in control and although I know eight people might feel disappointing, to my mind it’s actually not surprising that the numbers are not huge.

“What matters is that we have got the right people in terms of the files we have submitted.”

The IPCC investigation was the biggest Police misconduct probe in UK history.