Socialist Worker

Hillsborough cop denies policing was 'shambles'

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2430

Hillsborough memorial

Hillsborough memorial

A former superintendent on duty during the Hillsborough football disaster has denied that he could have done more to help fans trapped in a crush.

Some 96 Liverpool football fans died as a result of the 1989 disaster.

Roger Greenwood was in charge inside the Hillsborough stadium on the day of the disaster. He gave evidence into fresh inquests into the deaths this week.

He denied that his contribution was a “shambles from start to finish”.

The court saw images of fans, including some who died, crushed against the perimeter fence of pens 3 and 4. Greenwood denied that was the situation when he looked at the pens at 3.03pm.

Mark George QC, representing 22 bereaved families, said to Greenwood, “You wasted vital minutes, didn’t you, between your arrival at the fence and your decision to stop the game which may have cost lives?”

Greenwood claimed that there was room for fans to move back in the pens.


Rajiv Menon QC, representing ten bereaved families, said the Health and Safety Executive had analysed a photo of pen 3 and 3.03pm. It was estimated that between 1,430 and 1,575 fans were in the pen. The safe capacity had been calculated at between 678 and 1,000.

Menon said, “By 3.03pm, when you’re on that fence, pen 3 is anywhere between 43 percent overcrowded to well over 100 percent overcrowded.”

Greenwood replied that he wasn’t aware of the figures.

He also revealed that he did not declare a major incident on the day of the disaster. He told the jury that he thought “that decision would have been taken elsewhere”.

He said he did not brief officers in front of the perimeter fence on their duty to monitor the pens. But he denied this amounted to a dereliction of duty.

The jury also heard evidence from Margaret Topley, the ex-wife of Brian Mole. Mole was a former chief superintendent with South Yorkshire Police. She said that David Duckenfield, the officer in charge on the day of the disaster, was in the same Freemasons lodge as her husband.

The inquests continue.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.