Families call for 'Hillsborough Law' at home secretary meeting

Hillsborough families Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Family members and supporters reacted with jubilation after the conclusion of the inquests

Relatives of the 96 people who died at Hillsborough have told the home secretary they want a "Hillsborough Law" to compel public officials to tell the truth at inquiries.

They held private meetings with Theresa May in the wake of the Hillsborough inquests, which ended in April.

Jurors found the fans who died as a result of the 1989 crush were unlawfully killed.

The families also complained about the conduct of South Yorkshire Police.

They called on the home secretary to put the force into remedial measures.

It is understood the proposed 'Hillsborough Law' would seek to place a further onus on those in public office to cooperate positively with investigations.

The families were told about developments in two ongoing criminal investigations into the disaster at the meetings with the home secretary, which were held in Warrington.

Theresa May has previously praised the dignity and determination of the victims' relatives.

Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Margaret Aspinall, whose son James died in the disaster, said: "I myself for the very first time felt - I'm sure the families did as well - that at last there's a home secretary that's actually listening to them."

Judith Moritz, North of England correspondent

The home secretary has met some Hillsborough families before, but this is the first time that she's spoken directly to them since the inquests ended.

Theresa May spent several hours in Warrington, meeting separately with the two main groups of relatives.

The atmosphere was said to be heated, with some of the families complaining directly to her about the conduct of South Yorkshire Police during the inquests.

Some relatives asked for assurances that there will be criminal prosecutions, and I'm told that they wanted to make sure that the home secretary personally understood the emotional toll that the two-year inquests have taken.

Although the Hillsborough families welcomed the jury's finding of unlawful killing, they know that many months of uncertainty lie ahead before they find out whether criminal trials will follow.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission revealed that 19 people have refused to assist with their probe into the conduct of officers from West Midlands Police, which investigated the tragedy.

The watchdog has now handed files on suspects to the Crown Prosecution Service in its largest-ever inquiry into alleged criminality and alleged police misconduct.

The IPCC has contacted 258 officers and staff members involved in the investigation into the tragedy and a total of 161 statements have been taken.

The watchdog said: "Our intention remains to submit full files of evidence to the CPS by the turn of the year to enable decisions to be made on whether any individuals should be charged."

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