MP hopes Hillsborough inquest verdicts will "provide some relief"
MP Caroline Flint said today that she hoped the verdicts of the Hillsborough inquests - that the 96 victims were unlawfully killed and not to blame for the tragedy - will bring some relief to their families.
After hearing more than two years of evidence, the jury decided today that match commander Chief Supt David Duckenfield's actions amounted to “gross negligence” due to a breach of his duty of care to fans.
Police errors also added to a dangerous situation at the FA Cup semi-final.
After a 27-year campaign by victims' families, the behaviour of Liverpool fans was cleared as a possible cause.
The jury found they did not contribute to the danger unfolding at the turnstiles at the Sheffield Wednesday's ground on April 15, 1989.
Don Valley MP Caroline Flint said she hoped the verdicts would bring relief, saying: “After a two-year Inquest and a 27 year wait, today has provided some justice for the 96 who died, 730 who were injured and their families, during this disastrous event.
“The jury have issued a clear decision that there were clear errors by the policing, in the plan for managing the crowd, on the day of the match, in the control box, and including the actions of the Commanding Officers.
“To add to their grief families who saw loved ones leave to enjoy a day of football suffered too from blame for the tragedy being attached to Liverpool fans.
“I hope the Inquest verdict that fans were not to blame for what happened that day provides some relief and vindication for the families of those who died and the survivors in their long pursuit of justice.”
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton said: "On April 15, 1989 South Yorkshire Police got the policing of the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough catastrophically wrong.
"Today, as I have said before, I want to apologise unreservedly to the families of all those affected.
"With improvements in training, communications and techonology, it is almost impossible to consider how the same set of circumstances could arise again today.
"We will now take time to carefully reflect on the implications of the verdicts.
"We recognise that this is an important day for the families of those who died at the HIllsborough Disaster and for everyone affected by what happened. They have waited 27 years for this outcome. Our thoughts are with them."
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner, said: "My task is twofold: to ensure that past errors are admitted and the force learns what needs to be learnt; but also to continue to encourage today's force to work to the highest of standards, since that is the only way they can accept the past while not being overwhelmed by it.
"I would just like to acknowledge, once again, the families who have waited such a long time for this to come to a conclusion. These verdicts will never change the terrible loss that they have suffered, or the years of waiting for resolution, but I hope they now feel that they have some closure to what has been a very long and traumatic process for them.”