It has been a week or so of stark contrasts for our police force. I recently wrote about the outcome of the report into the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster and a documentary I watched last night left me almost open-mouthed at the actions of certain senior officers.
It’s not so much the extent of the deception, corruption, conspiracy (however you choose to describe it) – although don’t get me wrong, the circumstances are shocking – it’s more the totally callous disregard for the memory of each and every person who perished that April afternoon and the reputation of the supporters of Liverpool FC (or the city in general) that was displayed in the cause of cowardly self-preservation.
The more I think or hear about the events that unfolded in Sheffield, the more I want to see justice served on those who were prepared to go the most disgusting lengths to cover-up the truth and their own failings in the process... and presumably to hold onto jobs, pensions etc etc...
Compare how I feel with anyone from Liverpool– in particular anyone with a close family relationship to any of the victims and... well actually I don’t think I could even begin to imagine let alone describe their emotions right now...
I do have a certain amount of sympathy for those honest, decent police officers who have been caught up in what is nothing short of a scandal, but I really hope that those who were willing and able to deflect blame in the most despicable way suffer the strongest punishment that our law allows. Anything less would be an insult to the 96 who weren’t given a choice...
The contrast came with the awful news of the deaths of the two female officers in Manchester; seemingly lured into an ambush as a result of a false 999 burglary call. Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were simply doing their job... and they had every right to expect that when they left their respective homes to start their shift, they would be returning again at the end of their working day.
Tributes have been paid to these two young women by senior colleagues and it’s not my place to pass comment on their personality and dedication – the words spoken at the press conference said it all. It is an absolute tragedy, but whilst family and fellow officers mourn the loss of two young lives... I wonder what, if any guilt is being felt by those current or former members of South Yorkshire Police who should be ashamed of their own actions all those years ago and totally embarrassed to be mentioned in the same breath as Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes... RIP
All my own work... almost.