Hillsborough inquiry staff recruited by IPCC

About 70 investigators are being recruited as part of the inquiry into police conduct at Hillsborough.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to investigate up to 2,400 officers who were on duty when 96 Liverpool fans died in 1989.

A new office in Warrington is being equipped for the 100 staff that will eventually work on the inquiry.

It will look at whether there was a criminal cover-up of police failings.

The inquiry is currently working from a temporary base in Sale, Greater Manchester, while secure IT systems are installed in the Warrington office so staff can assess more than 450,000 documents relating to the disaster.

IPCC 'under pressure'

Families of those who died at Hillsborough have been told the inquiry could take several months.

The IPCC announced it would investigate after the Independent Hillsborough Panel Report revealed 164 police statements had been altered - 116 of them to remove or change negative comments about the policing of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Sheffield stadium.

The panel disclosed potential crimes committed before, during and after the disaster, the IPCC said.

Both South Yorkshire Police, which dealt with the tragedy, and West Midlands Police, which investigated how South Yorkshire handled the disaster, will come under scrutiny.

The investigation will cover possible offences of manslaughter, perverting the course of justice by changing police statements, perjury by officers who gave evidence on oath, perverting the course of justice by misleading journalists and misconduct in public office.

The watchdog, which said it was "under pressure" from government funding cuts of £5m - 20% of its budget, has asked the government for extra resources.

In December the original accidental death verdicts were quashed at the High Court and new inquests will be heard after the panel found that 41 of the 96 who died had the "potential to survive".

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites