Socialist Worker

Cops' contempt for Hillsborough 96

Issue No. 2367

The revelation that police applied for money meant to help the survivors and families of the Hillsborough disaster underlines their arrogant contempt for the ordinary people killed on their watch. 

Some 96 fans died at the Sheffield football stadium in 1989 when police sent hundreds of people into already full pens. 

The Hillsborough Disaster Fund fund raised £12 million from donations to help the injured and their traumatised families. 

But now it has been revealed that police officers systematically put in requests for money. Their demands included holiday flats, gyms and “worthwhile gifts for officers on sick leave”. 

Norman Bettison, the officer in charge on the day, even wanted £2,000 to refurbish the reception area of his station.

Fund trustees turned down these outrageous requests. But how could the cops have the arrogance and sheer gall to demand them in the first place?

On the day of the disaster cops stood by while fans suffocated. It was other fans who broke down fences to save people. 

These were the people Bettison smeared to cover up police responsibility. He was supported by the establishment, from Margaret Thatcher to The Sun.

Then the police whined about the trauma of having watched.

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign had to fight for 23 years to get recognised that no fans were to blame.


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What We Think
Tue 20 Aug 2013, 17:49 BST
Issue No. 2367
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