160426hillsborough

Following today’s verdicts, the Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed it will now begin considering criminal charges over Hillsborough.

As to who will be charged, and what the offences may be, we should consider the answers to the questions the inquest jury was asked:

QUESTION 1: Basic facts of the disaster

Do you agree with the following statement which is intended to summarise the basic facts of the Disaster:

“Ninety-six people died as a result of the Disaster at Hillsborough Stadium on 15 April 1989 due to crushing in the central pens of the Leppings Lane terrace, following the admission of a large number of supporters to the Stadium through exit gates.”

Yes.

QUESTION 2: Police planning for the semi-final match

Was there any error or omission in police planning or preparation for the semi-final match on 15 April 1989 which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation that developed on the day of the match? Yes or no

Yes – the jury  feels there were major omissions in 1989 operational order

QUESTION 3: Policing of the match and the situation at the turnstiles

Was there any error or omission in policing on the day of the match which caused or contributed to a dangerous situation developing at the Leppings Lane turnstiles? Yes or no.

Yes. The jury finds the p olice response to the increasing crowd at Leppings Lane was slow and uncoordinated. It feels the road closure and sweep of fans exacerbated the situation. No filter cordons were place and no contingency plans were made for the sudden arrival of a large number of fans.

The jury feels that attempts to close the perimeter gates were made too late.

QUESTION 4: Policing of the match and the crush on the terrace

Was there any error or omission by commanding officers which caused or contributed to the crush on the terrace? Yes or no.

Yes –  Commanding officers should have ordered closing of central tunnel.

QUESTION 5: The opening of the gates

When the order was given to open the exit gates at the Leppings Lane end of the stadium, was there any error or omission by the commanding officers in the control box which caused or contributed to the crush on the terrace? Yes or no.

Yes.  Commanding officers did not inform officers in the inner concourse prior to the opening of Gate C. Commanding Officers failed to consider where fans would go. Commanding officers failed to order the closure of the central tunnel prior to the opening of gate C.

QUESTION 6: Determination on unlawful killing issue

Are you satisfied, so that you are sure, that those who died in the disaster were unlawfully killed? Yes or no.

Yes.

QUESTION 7: Behaviour of the supporters

Was there any behaviour on the part of the football supporters which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles? Yes or no.

No.

Was there any behaviour on the part of the football supporters which may have caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles? Yes or no.

No.

QUESTION 8: Defects in Hillsborough stadium

Were there any features of the design, construction and layout of the stadium which you consider were dangerous or defective and which caused or contributed to the disaster? Yes or no.

Yes.

Design and layout of the crush barriers in pens 3 and 4 were not fully compliant with the Green Guide. The removal of barrier 144 and the partial removal of barrier 136 would have exacerbated the waterfall effect of pressure towards the front of the pens. The lack of dedicated turnstiles for individual pens meant that capacities could not be monitored. There were too few turnstiles for a capacity crowd. Signage to the side pens was inadequate.

QUESTION 9: Licensing and oversight of the stadium

Was there any error or omission in the safety certification and oversight of Hillsborough Stadium that caused or contributed to the disaster? Yes or no.

Yes.  Safety certificate never amended to reflect changes to Leppings Lane end of stadium.

QUESTION 10: Conduct of Sheffield Wednesday FC before the day of the match

Was there any error or omission by SWFC and its staff in the management of the stadium and/or preparation for the semi final match on 15 April 1989 which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation which developed on the day of the match? Yes or no.

Yes –  The club did not approve the plans for dedicated turnstiles for each pen. The club did not agree any contingency plans with the police. There was inadequate signage and inadequate and misleading information on the tickets.

QUESTION 11: Conduct of Sheffield Wednesday FC on the day of the match

Was there any error or omission by SWFC and its staff on 15 April 1989 which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation that developed at the Leppings Lane turnstiles and in the west terrace? Yes or no.

No.

Was there any error or omission by SWFC and its staff on 15 April 1989 which may have caused or contributed to the dangerous situation that developed at the Leppings Lane turnstiles and in the west terrace? Yes or no.

Yes.  Club officials were aware huge number of fans were still outside the ground at 2.40 and should have requested delay in kick-off.

QUESTION 12: Conduct of Eastwood & Partners (SWFC engineers)

Should Eastwood & Partners have done more to detect and advise on any unsafe or unsatisfactory features of the stadium which caused or contributed to the disaster? Yes or no.

Yes.  Eastwood & Partners, the club’s consultant engineers,  did not make their own calculations when they became consultants for the club.  T herefore the initial capacity figures and all subsequent calculations were incorrect.

Eastwood & Partners  failed to recalculate capacity figures each time changes were made to the terraces. It failed to update the safety certificate after 1986.

QUESTION 13: Emergency response and the role of South Yorkshire Police

After the crush in the West Terrace had begun to develop, was there any error or omission by the police which caused or contributed to the loss of lives in the disaster? Yes or no.

Yes.  Police delayed to call major incident – it meant appropriate emergency response was delayed.

QUESTION 14: Emergency response and the role of South Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service (SYMAS)

After the crush in the west terrace had begun to develop, was there any error or omission by the ambulance service (SYMAS) which caused or contributed to the loss of lives in the disaster? Yes or no.

Yes. SYMAS failed to ascertain the nature of the problem at Leppings Lane. The failure to recognise and call a major incident led to delays in response to the emergency.

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