Hillsborough investigation

In 2012, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), then the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), launched an independent investigation into police actions following the Hillsborough disaster. The disaster resulted in the deaths of 97 Liverpool supporters, and remains to this day the worst disaster in British sporting history.

This is the largest independent investigation into alleged police misconduct and criminality ever carried out in England and Wales.


Ninety-seven Liverpool fans died as a result of the events that unfolded at the FA Cup Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989. Hundreds more fans were injured and countless people who survived have been left traumatised by the disaster.

More than 50,000 men, women and children travelled to the match at Hillsborough Stadium, the home ground of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. Just minutes after kick-off, a fatal crush occurred in the Leppings Lane end terraces, where the Liverpool fans were located.

Some media reporting focused on unfounded allegations that Liverpool fans’ drunken behaviour was the cause of the disaster and hindered the emergency response. This has been disproved many times.

The initial inquests in March 1991 returned verdicts of accidental death into the 95 deaths – as was at that date. The 96th victim, Tony Bland, died almost four years after the disaster and, again, the Coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death. The 97th victim, Andrew Devine, died on 27 July 2021, after a long illness of 32 years from aspiration pneumonia, and the Coroner ruled he died as a result of his injuries sustained at Hillsborough Stadium.

Guide to the investigation

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