Massive Hillsborough Investigations Promised by IPCC

Michael Regan - Getty Images

In further progress in the campaign for justice, today the Independent Police Complaints Commission has promised full investigations into the conduct of the police and others that might have contributed to the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters.

It's always hard to comment or try to talk about positives when the topic of Hillsborough comes up--there aren't really any positives per se, and victories that have come 23 years later can't come without a twinge of regret or anger that it's taken so long for acknowledgement that the long-standing narrative was one that not only created more pain and suffering, but proved to be wholly inaccurate. Those myths were created and sustained by a police force and government that were all to eager to shift the blame, and a willing public furthered the myth for far too long.

But the work of the families and loved ones finally saw the truth come out, as last month the review of the Hillsborough Independent Panel exposed the depth of the lies and the shameful behavior of those who were supposed to keep supporters safe. It was simultaneously a triumph and a trauma, as it gave publicity to the lies but staggered in revealing the extent to which those committing said lies went.

And now, only a month later, there's news that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will launch an investigation, "setting up a dedicated Hillsborough team" to follow through:

We have learned details of the run-up to the disaster including the unheeded warnings from previous incidents, the disaster itself, and its aftermath, including what appear to be attempts to distort the truth.These findings are a testament to the tenacity of the Hillsborough families' long campaign for truth and justice. Their dedication to the memory of those they loved - and the support of the people of Merseyside - has been humbling.

But 23 years was far too long to wait. It has been a generation of distress and anger. And the picture is not yet complete. It is now for the Independent Police Complaints Commission and other organisations to try to complete that picture.

Via the link above there's also a PDF available of an extended, 73-point statement from Deborah Glass, the Deputy Chair of the IPCC. It covers in much greater detail the background of the issue as it pertains to the IPCC, what their role is in relation to the case, and what they'll hope to accomplish as they move forward. Encouraging that Ms. Glass also noted that the Director of Public Prosecutions has agreed to begin reviewing evidence as well.

That it's taken too long for this sort of thing to be set in motion in indisputable, and the time lost can never be recovered for those who have spent so much time and energy fighting for justice. But two significant pieces of progress in such a short period of time can hopefully provide some comfort, and as it moves forward, we're all hopeful that it provides some semblance of comfort for those who've so desperately needed it for so long.

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