Hillsborough Enquiry – Publication of Final Report - Naming of West Midlands Officers
IOPC intends to publish its final report on the Hillsborough disaster following completion of Court proceedings (two retired South Yorkshire Officers – ‘Perverting the Course of Justice’) which commence on 19th April 2021. However, the report will be further delayed if the IOPC Decision Maker asks the CPS to consider evidence of criminal offences outlined in the report which she believes have not already been subject to CPS review to date. This is considered very unlikely. It is certain, however, there will be criticism of officers in the report, and some or many will be named.
All West Midlands Police Officers involved in the operation should have received a letter from IOPC in October 2020, outlining the issues and evidence forming the basis of any criticism which will be published in the report.
In cases where an officer did not receive/accept a Regulation 16 notice, further contact will need to be made to offer an opportunity to comment, but it is understood all officers involved will have the chance to make representations on the content of the report, if they wish.
The detail of the process has not yet been determined, but at a briefing of Executive members of the five West Midlands’ Branches by video conference on 3rd March 2021, IOPC agreed to keep NARPO informed of progress and key dates. Your Branch will circulate further information as it becomes available.
It would be helpful if members affected would keep their NARPO Branch Secretaries aware of contact by IOPC in order that Branch Executives can provide support – particularly to more vulnerable members involved – and to challenge the IOPC process if appropriate. NARPO’s National Executive Committee is fully aware of the situation and early legal advice has been obtained to ensure any necessary Human Rights or other challenge can be made.