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Liverpool: Finally the truth is out about Hillsborough

Yesterday saw the release of the Hillsborough report into the death of 96 people on that faithful day 15th of April 1989. I have read the report in depth and it is by far and away a stunning read. The report, which is almost 400 pages long, highlights the fact the police mis-handled the situation leading to the death of 96 people, injuries to hundreds of others and leaving many emotionally scared for the remainder of their lives. The report also revealed how the police then amended statements and reports made by officers that day so as to lay blame on the Liverpool fans and deflect attention from themselves.

This day has been too long in coming, especially for the families of those who lost their lives that day. The report will go along way into giving those families peace of mind that they have sought and deserved for so long. It is a situation that should never have gone on so long.

The report concludes that the police on duty that day were ill equipped to handle the situation that occurred as a result of overcrowding. The report shows from police statements that there was a huge lack of communication and leadership when the situation became out of hand and shows how they omitted some of these statements to try to protect themselves from future criticism.

After reading the report i got the sense that at that time there may have been little to no training or plan of action in an event of such an incident. The report consistently gives statements from over 164 officers (116 of which was amended) stating a clear lack of communication and leadership by any senior officer on that day. But this begs the question….Why didn’t the officers know what to do?

Many officers report a sense of ‘panic’ and ‘chaos’ when communicating with other officers in and around the area which leads me to conclude they were overwhelmed with situation that was unfolding in front of them rather than re-acting as an orgainised group on the day. Granted a lack of communication doesn’t help any situation but it is clear that the officers were lost in what they were trying to do or were supposed to do as the situation unfolded. Every officer should be trained and react accordingly in such as situation. Even in todays terms with the massive use of technology in communication the police should always have a back-up plan in case of a communication breakdown starting with knowing what to do even in the event of a lack of leadership.

Although the report does analyse what happened on the day from start to finish, and i know that its main talking points in the media and other social outlets will be the fact that the police DID lie and DID cover it up but we shouldn’t forget that there is more to this than meets the eye. As a result of this there should be a new inquiry into how the police mis- handed the situation and let this be a lesson to those who are now serving in the police today and are responsible for handling large crowds at football matches.

As a result of this report today I do see one little problem that may arise and I hope doesn’t. This weekend will see the return of Premier League football including Liverpool’s away game at Sunderland. As always there will be a huge crowd presence in each game at the weekend and also a police presence as always. I do hope these officers can be left to the job in which they do every match weekend without the taunts of fans who may pass comments and judgments on them as a result of the Hillsborough report. They weren’t there that faithful day and there should be no reason why they should be at the end of any disrespectful comments. Trust in the police will be heavily damaged this week as the cover up is revealed but people must remember that they will still be there when you need them and there are still good officers on the force who do their job to the best of their ability so you can go to matches safely.

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