IOPC statement following today's ruling at the Denton, Foster and Metcalf trial

Published: 26 May 2021

IOPC Deputy Director General Claire Bassett said:

“We acknowledge the court’s decision today, which we know has come as a bitter disappointment to the families of those who lost their lives at the Hillsborough disaster, and its survivors. Naturally, our thoughts are with all those affected by the tragedy, who have had to relive some very painful memories during this trial.

“The judge has ruled the defendants did not have a legal obligation to ensure the information they provided to the Taylor Inquiry was full and frank and we accept that. But for many, not least those most personally affected, serious questions must remain over the public and moral duty of police in helping authorities to understand and prevent a further disaster like Hillsborough.

“The IOPC has undertaken the largest independent investigation into police misconduct and alleged criminality ever carried out in England and Wales, and this is the first time individuals have appeared in court as a result of police actions after the disaster.

“We will now focus on finalising our report which will cover the findings of more than 160 individual investigations into the actions of the police following the disaster – a significant body of work given events took place such a long time ago.

“We are committed to answering many of the questions that still remain about police actions before, during and after the disaster, and we will continue to keep bereaved families, survivors and other affected groups informed about our findings. Our focus will remain on ensuring that the lessons which have emerged from our work on Hillsborough are shared with police forces and this is prevented from ever happening again.

“I would like to put on record my personal thanks to all of the team at the IOPC who have worked diligently, some for many years, on such a thorough and robust investigation. Our work is not yet over."

  • South Yorkshire Police
  • Corruption and abuse of power