Socialist Worker

Hillsborough cop says deadly crush was avoidable

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2422

The 1989 Hillsborough football disaster could have been avoided if police crowd control had been different, according to a former police officer.

Some 96 Liverpool football fans died as a result of a crush at the Sheffield stadium in 1989.

Former sergeant William Crawford gave evidence to fresh inquests into the deaths on Monday of this week.

He said he could have closed the tunnel leading to pens 3 and 4 when a gate was opened to allow more fans into the ground. 

The crush took place in those pens.

Crawford said the senior police officers in the control box at Hillsborough had “a full view” of the terraces, and as such, “I would have expected a warning from them”.

“We could have diverted them around the other pens,” he said. “But we never had any warning.”

Crawford also told jurors that his original statement  regarding Hillsborough, which he made in 1989, had been changed. 

Passages criticising the lack of police at the Leppings Lane end of the ground and the lack of anyone diverting people away from the central pens were crossed out.

The inquests continue.


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