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Hillsborough


Kowalski
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19570810

 

So it looks like the fans are in the clear, emergency services failed to do a proper job, and that South Yorkshire police deliberately tried to pin the blame on the fans.

 

A Sheffield news agency is getting the blame for the Sun story.  Still think the Sun should be issuing a full unreserved apology.

Must admit I was always under the impression that elements of the Sun story might have been true (sorry if that offends anyone) but it looks like the fans are completely exonerated today which is great news.

 

It's taken a helluva long time to get the truth out, what a sorry mess.

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As I recall a few years back in an interview with one of the paramedics on duty he stated the cops had stopped him and a couple of other Ambulances from going into the stadiums stating the liverpool fans were rioting and it wasnt safe.

 

Havent read the full spiel yet but at the moment I personally wouldnt be taring in all the emergency services with the same brush

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It really is harrowing when you read it as to how these events could occur. From the crush and the terrible event itself to the disgraceful lies and the following cover up by the South Yorkshire Police and the media. I can't imagine how the relatives are feeling after waiting 23 long years to finally get to the truth as to how and why their loved ones died. No-one should go to a football game and not come home.

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I'm sorry but this bothers me.

What happened that day was an accident, a terrible accident but an accident all the same. No-one conspired to kill a load of Liverpool fans.

Poor decisions were made, people behaved as people do and huge confusion ensued resulting in people dying.

I know as a parent that if it was my child I would want someone to blame but surely there comes a time when you have to accept that no matter who did what, it was still an accident.

Likewise I'd like to believe that if i was in a position that could have changed events I would have done so but in reality I'm sure it was fucking carnage whereby no one was really certain what was actually happening.

It's all very well trying to anoint blame and there are several things on both sides that could have been done differently, but once the shit hits the fan it is human nature to self preserve.

 

RIP not the just the 96 of Hillsborough but the hundreds that have passed away in dreadful accidents at football grounds.

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Couldn't agree more baggy, typical persecution complex by some imo. It is horrific what happened and I very much doubt it will happen again. Thankfully, lessons have been learnt from not only this, but the many other disasters but it is a shame that it took these events to change safety at sporting venues. Can't say the police acted well in this, but people need to move on. I know its easy for me to say, but it cannot be healthy for these families to keep going on about it. I hope they get some closure now.

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Cheers Manc, glad I'm not the only one. I'm sure it's not a populist opinion but I cant help feel that this constant going over of Hillsborough is somehow lessening the importance of the 39 at Heysel, the 56 at Bradford, the 340 in Moscow, the 66 at Ibrox, the 33 at Burden Park...

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there comes a time when you have to accept that no matter who did what, it was still an accident.

 

It's all very well trying to anoint blame and there are several things on both sides that could have been done differently, but once the shit hits the fan it is human nature to self preserve.

 

The police were utterly incompetent and shepherded fans into areas they shouldn't have, solely causing the overcrowding and subsequent deaths. It was an accident that was caused by systematic failings by emergency services. If bereaved in such instances can't expect redress for that then what exactly can they?

 

As for human nature being to self-preserve - that's why institutions like the police have codes of conduct. It is so that they can function in the intended capacity to protect the public in the first instance, and seek justice without any hint of bias in the second.

 

It has absolutely nothing to do with Heysel or anything else. A police service in the UK caused the deaths of almost 100 people and not only covered it up, but smeared the names of the dead and forced the families to spend over 20 years waiting for the truth to be dragged out into the public kicking and screaming.

 

How anyone could find even a single thing negative about what today represents for justice in the face of institutional corruption frankly amazes me.

 

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A Persecution complex?

 

Fuck sake.

 

Exactly.

It saddens me that anyone, esp a football fan would express that view.

This isn't someone slipping on a wet floor or falling off a ladder.  This is more akin to a drunk driver driving at 100mph crashing into someone and killing them, running away then avoiding justice for 20 odd years by way of a cover up.  Yes that is an accident, the drunk driver didn't intend to kill anyone, but surely nobody would argue he shouldn't face justice.

 

Here we have a horrific accident that was caused directly by the decisions taken by the Police, which was compound by their continued strategy of treating football fans as hooligans rather than the victims of this horrific accident, who wilfully prevented fans and medical service from assisting those who were dying and then proceeded to blame the fans for the disaster.

Furthermore there was a systematic process to pervert the course of justice, and orchestrated smear campaign and 20 odd years of cover up.

Significant crimes were committed and it probably isn't going too far to suggest a case for corporate manslaughter.

The Police, then as now, were busy treating football fans as criminals simply for following their sides rather than is individuals that deserve their protection and help.

If this had happened at the Theatre or a Concert there would have been a very different outcome, but because it is football fans the public, powers that be, and sadly seemingly some football fans find it easier to blame the innocent vicitims

Gie yirsel a shake

 

And to suggest revealing the truth behind Hillsborough lessens the importance of other disasters, many of which were investigated and brought about significant change is just frankly bollocks.

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and a wider point from Alex Thomson

 

alex thomson[!]8207;@alextomo

 

#c4news the British pattern: disaster, flawed legal inquiry, cover-up, campaign, wilderness years, proper inquiry, apology...

 

#c4news so it continues Bloody Sunday...Mull of Kintyre...Hillsborough. Repeated state cover-ups when the heat's on and careers at stake.

 

Can we add Iraq and Leverson to that in the coming years?

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It was an accident that was caused by systematic failings by emergency services.

 

A police service in the UK caused the deaths of almost 100 people

 

Here we have a horrific accident that was caused directly by the decisions taken by the Police

 

Are there any hard and fast quotes that suggest that the disaster was caused by the police and emergency services?  Because I'm quite astonished if that is the case.  The Taylor Report already went through all of this 20 years ago.  The disaster, while exacerbated by the poor response and cover-up by the police and emergency services, was absolutely not the sole or root cause of it.  The poor crowd control measures implemented at the time in tandem with the barbaric perimeter fencing preventing overspill was the exact root cause of it.  Thankfully now sports stadia are safe and a disaster like this can never happen again.  You can't apply the rule of law now to the cultural circumstances that existed 23 years ago, but the families can take comfort from the fact that they have been vindicated in the admittance of the poor response/cover-up, which is quite disgusting.

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The game should have never gone ahead in the first place. The stadium was not fit for purpose and it did not meet safety standards at the time. Also the thinking and mind-set from the Police at the time was a factor, treating all fans like hooligans and putting up anti-invasion barriers which was disasterous. I was of the opinion (I could be wrong) that the disaster was a combination of the crumbling, out-dated and unsafe stadium and the anti-hooliganism and invasion fences AND the Police who opened a large exit gate in order to reduce the crush outside the stadium. As fans were entering the stadium from the turnstiles, thousands of fans entered it also from this exit gate on the instruction of the police and headed to the same area of the ground which was already well past the capacity. There were systamatic failings by the Police, most of all by not closing off the tunnel leading from this main exit gate to the 'pens' 3 and 4 where the crush occurred. There were previous warnings before 1989 about the risk of crushing and over-crowding yet this was not acted upon. In my mind, this makes the Police just as responsible for causing the disaster as they were for the farcical recovery operation.

 

Changing witness statements and attempting to cover their own backs is nothing short of disgraceful and criminal proceedings should be started against those who are responsible. The opinions of Baggy and manc_don disappoint me in a way as I don't think any football fan should treat any disaster that has occurred in that mind-set.

 

Couldn't agree more baggy, typical persecution complex by some imo. It is horrific what happened and I very much deroubt it will happen again. Thankfully, lessons have been learnt from not only this, but the many other disasters but it is a shame that it took these events to change safety at sporting venues. Can't say the police acted well in this, but people need to move on. I know its easy for me to say, but it cannot be healthy for these families to keep going on about it. I hope they get some closure now.

 

I can't believe anyone can say that. Imagine losing your dad/son/daughter/mother/sister etc in a disaster that was partly caused by the Police, being lied to, your loved ones reputations being smeared across the country and then waiting 23 years for the truth to finally come out as to how and why they died and the fact that some had the potential to be saved. How anyone can sit there and say that people need to move on is beyond me. As for a 'typical persuction complex', what the fuck does that even mean? Fighting to find out why your loved one has died? Is that a 'typical persecution complex'? This is not Neil Lennon and the SFA/Scottish football. This is 96 individuals who died at a football game. This is their relatives and Liverpool as a whole attempting to discover the truth and finally, after waiting 23 years, they have been told that they have been lied to and the truth has been covered up in order to cover South Yorkshire Police force's own back.

 

Cheers Manc, glad I'm not the only one. I'm sure it's not a populist opinion but I cant help feel that this constant going over of Hillsborough is somehow lessening the importance of the 39 at Heysel, the 56 at Bradford, the 340 in Moscow, the 66 at Ibrox, the 33 at Burden Park...

 

All of these disasters brought about significant changes in football ground safety and it was dreadful that it took these disasters to bring about this improvement in safety. However, I don't think anyone is lessening the importance of Heysel, Bradford, Ibrox etc. At the same time, I don't think there has been such a significant, widespread and scandalous cover up by those that we trust to protect us, who so badly failed. Hillsborough was a tragedy and one which will never be forgotten but the subequent media coverage and lies that were peddled in order to cover up the Police's failings are a fucking crime. If you feel that justice should not be brought, then turn off the tv and don't buy a newspaper. This 'constant going over of Hillsborough' should have never occurred but it is a tragedy and an absolute disgrace that we are only getting the truth after 23 years. That, and that alone, is the only reason why the relatives of those who didn't come home that day could not move on.

 

 

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Exactly.

It saddens me that anyone, esp a football fan would express that view.

This isn't someone slipping on a wet floor or falling off a ladder.  This is more akin to a drunk driver driving at 100mph crashing into someone and killing them, running away then avoiding justice for 20 odd years by way of a cover up.  Yes that is an accident, the drunk driver didn't intend to kill anyone, but surely nobody would argue he shouldn't face justice.

 

Here we have a horrific accident that was caused directly by the decisions taken by the Police, which was compound by their continued strategy of treating football fans as hooligans rather than the victims of this horrific accident, who wilfully prevented fans and medical service from assisting those who were dying and then proceeded to blame the fans for the disaster.

Furthermore there was a systematic process to pervert the course of justice, and orchestrated smear campaign and 20 odd years of cover up.

Significant crimes were committed and it probably isn't going too far to suggest a case for corporate manslaughter.

The Police, then as now, were busy treating football fans as criminals simply for following their sides rather than is individuals that deserve their protection and help.

If this had happened at the Theatre or a Concert there would have been a very different outcome, but because it is football fans the public, powers that be, and sadly seemingly some football fans find it easier to blame the innocent vicitims

Gie yirsel a shake

 

And to suggest revealing the truth behind Hillsborough lessens the importance of other disasters, many of which were investigated and brought about significant change is just frankly bollocks.

 

That's not really what I said, is it? To suggest that, until now there has been no significant changes in Policing at games or the structure of football grounds due to investigation's that have already occurred regarding Hillsborough is ridiculous.

 

I'm not really certain I like your analogy either. Hillsborough was a series of wrong decisions and unfortunate events not one single decision. Since Hillsborough several things have happened stop anything similar happening ever again, What could ever be implemented to stop some pished up cunt going a mowing down another pedestrian?

 

You can certainly hold accountable,

The FA for scheduling the match at Hillsborough when there was evidently past instances of poor crowd control at a poorly designed ground.

The Police for making a series of poor decisions, panicking and not communicating very well and their contempt for the fans afterwards.

Those in charge of SWFC at the time and their poor decisions in implementing crowd control measures.

And football fans behaviour in general at that time because no matter how football fans behave nowadays it does not get away from the fact that crowd trouble both within and away from football grounds was a common occurrence in the 1980's.

 

However, I'm not certain that there is not a football fan alive, or even any person living in Britain at that time that did not already hold those views before yesterday.

 

Surely there is justice in knowing that the removal of pens, better design of football stadiums, better policing, better safety measures at football grounds more detailed emergency plans, better Health and Safety laws etc mean that no other families will ever have to go through the trauma of a similar tragedy.

 

Also corporate manslaughter can not be retrospective, so who are we looking at to afix blame too, the copper that opened the gate, the coppers that did not direct the fans into the wings, the ones at the front of the crush who did not realise immediately what was going on, the person who designed the pens, the coppers who did not filter the fans outside the ground properly, the person who designed the tunnel with such a steep gradient, whoever was responsible for arranging the game at Hillsborough in the first place...

 

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Also corporate manslaughter can not be retrospective, so who are we looking at to afix blame too, the copper that opened the gate, the coppers that did not direct the fans into the wings, the ones at the front of the crush who did not realise immediately what was going on, the person who designed the pens, the coppers who did not filter the fans outside the ground properly, the person who designed the tunnel with such a steep gradient, whoever was responsible for arranging the game at Hillsborough in the first place...

 

I would think there must be a case to be brought against anyone involved in the changing of statements by South Yorkshire Police, which is utterly reprehensible IMHO.

How these people have slept at night is beyond me.

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That's not really what I said, is it? To suggest that, until now there has been no significant changes in Policing at games or the structure of football grounds due to investigation's that have already occurred regarding Hillsborough is ridiculous.

 

I'm not really certain I like your analogy either. Hillsborough was a series of wrong decisions and unfortunate events not one single decision. Since Hillsborough several things have happened stop anything similar happening ever again, What could ever be implemented to stop some pished up cunt going a mowing down another pedestrian?

 

You can certainly hold accountable,

The FA for scheduling the match at Hillsborough when there was evidently past instances of poor crowd control at a poorly designed ground.

The Police for making a series of poor decisions, panicking and not communicating very well and their contempt for the fans afterwards.

Those in charge of SWFC at the time and their poor decisions in implementing crowd control measures.

And football fans behaviour in general at that time because no matter how football fans behave nowadays it does not get away from the fact that crowd trouble both within and away from football grounds was a common occurrence in the 1980's.

 

However, I'm not certain that there is not a football fan alive, or even any person living in Britain at that time that did not already hold those views before yesterday.

 

Surely there is justice in knowing that the removal of pens, better design of football stadiums, better policing, better safety measures at football grounds more detailed emergency plans, better Health and Safety laws etc mean that no other families will ever have to go through the trauma of a similar tragedy.

 

Also corporate manslaughter can not be retrospective, so who are we looking at to afix blame too, the copper that opened the gate, the coppers that did not direct the fans into the wings, the ones at the front of the crush who did not realise immediately what was going on, the person who designed the pens, the coppers who did not filter the fans outside the ground properly, the person who designed the tunnel with such a steep gradient, whoever was responsible for arranging the game at Hillsborough in the first place...

 

 

Of course Hillsborough brought about massive change but this is about actions the police took that directly resulted in more lives being lost (opening the gate, not allowing treatment/medics for those needing it, standing on the half way line as if policing a riot and not a disaster).  The constant going over of this tragedy has been as a direct result of, the now proven, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, efforts to smear the names of the 96 who died and the complete lack of accountability despite 2 previous enquiries.  What these families have been through is nothing short of a disgrace.  That it has taken successive governments over 20yrs to uncover this scandal is a disgrace. That perhaps as many as 41 lives could have been saved but for the actions of the emergency services is tantamount to manslaughter.

These other disasters were never met with the same level of corruption nor were the significantly exacerbated due to the actions of the Police on that day.

 

There is no justice in knowing yourself what went on and seeing the improvements to grounds and to policing (although given Tomlinson, De Meninizes, Lawerence, etc there are still massive issues with the culture of policing).  There is no justice when the there is no official recognition of the extent of the corruption, lies and smears coming from those who are meant to protect us.  Indeed this report still isn't justice, it is a vindication of what many have said and believed for 20yrs but that makes it all the more galling that it has taken this long to expose.

 

As for corporate manslaughter, my understanding is that such a prosecution would be against South Yorkshire Police and not one individual, but there must be questions about prosecuting individuals for tampering with evidence, especially given that some hold very senior positions in the Police force today.

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Are there any hard and fast quotes that suggest that the disaster was caused by the police and emergency services? 

 

"David Duckenfield, the chief superintendent in charge of policing at Hillsborough on the day, has been vilified in Liverpool for lying that fans forced their way through an exit gate, causing the crush, when in fact he had ordered that it be opened."

 

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"David Duckenfield, the chief superintendent in charge of policing at Hillsborough on the day, has been vilified in Liverpool for lying that fans forced their way through an exit gate, causing the crush, when in fact he had ordered that it be opened."

 

Hmm, the definition of "causing" in that quote is extremely dubious in the respect that the crush obviously led to the disaster, but wasn't the only ingredient in the mix.  There's little doubt that letting them in resulted in a crush, but that crush wasn't subsequently attenuated as a result of the anti-invasion perimeter fencing which in turn led to people dying, and therefore the bigger disaster.  That's to say without the crush there wouldn't have been a disaster, but the crush alone didn't actually cause the disaster, ergo the police didn't directly cause the disaster.  They were certainly negligent and perhaps reckless, but in light of the measures and cultural conditions of the day, they weren't solely to blame.

 

I'm being picky I know, but I think it's dangerous to point fingers.  I've read a fair bit about crowd safety over the years and I'm separating the actual disaster here from the events of yesterday, though I'm genuinely as repulsed by the lies as the next person (well so long as that person isn't a friend or relative of the 96), but to suggest that the disaster - not the lies - was the police's fault is just plain inaccurate in my view.

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Hmm, the definition of "causing" in that quote is extremely dubious in the respect that the crush obviously led to the disaster, but wasn't the only ingredient in the mix.  There's little doubt that letting them in resulted in a crush, but that crush wasn't subsequently attenuated as a result of the anti-invasion perimeter fencing which in turn led to people dying, and therefore the bigger disaster.  That's to say without the crush there wouldn't have been a disaster, but the crush alone didn't actually cause the disaster, ergo the police didn't directly cause the disaster.  They were certainly negligent and perhaps reckless, but in light of the measures and cultural conditions of the day, they weren't solely to blame.

Route Cause? I guess there are many.

The Police were ordered to open the gate, why? What effect did that have?

The Fences were there, why?

The Police assumed it was Violence by Hooligans, why?

The Police tried to Cover it up, Why?

 

We have more answers now which is a good thing, if there are more to be asked and more to be learned then lets keep asking the questions.

My Only gripe is that it turns into a witch-hunt and a black-and-white 'it was YOUR fault' quest!

Yes someone should be held accountable for the mistakes made, and the subsequent cover up but to have someone solely responsible for those deaths can't happen!

 

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Hmm, the definition of "causing" in that quote is extremely dubious in the respect that the crush obviously led to the disaster, but wasn't the only ingredient in the mix.  There's little doubt that letting them in resulted in a crush, but that crush wasn't subsequently attenuated as a result of the anti-invasion perimeter fencing which in turn led to people dying, and therefore the bigger disaster.  That's to say without the crush there wouldn't have been a disaster, but the crush alone didn't actually cause the disaster, ergo the police didn't directly cause the disaster.  They were certainly negligent and perhaps reckless, but in light of the measures and cultural conditions of the day, they weren't solely to blame.

 

I'm being picky I know, but I think it's dangerous to point fingers.  I've read a fair bit about crowd safety over the years and I'm separating the actual disaster here from the events of yesterday, though I'm genuinely as repulsed by the lies as the next person (well so long as that person isn't a friend or relative of the 96), but to suggest that the disaster - not the lies - was the police's fault is just plain inaccurate in my view.

 

I think you have to look at causation in the legal sense.  In English law causation is a question of a "but for" test. Basically would the disatster have taken place if all of these fuck ups hadn't happened

 

The state and it's institutions had a duty of care, they fundamentally failed in that duty (stadium not fit for purpose, lack of preparation, no security certificate, opening the gate etc). 

 

Personally I think causation is a no brainer, if the FA, police, Sheffield council and Sheffield Wednesday had done their jobs even moderately well, it wouldn't have happened.

 

 

 

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