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Govt offer Hillsborough help

19 Apr 2009 21:27:44

Govt offer Hillsborough help

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith insists the Government is "committed" to helping families who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough disaster. Last Wednesday was the 20th anniversary since 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium on 15th April 1989 where their team was to meet Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final. A number of high level discussions have taken place over hundreds of official documents about the tragedy and Ms Smith revealed it could result in those documents being made public for the first time. In a statement, the Home Secretary said: "The Government is committed to helping those who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough tragedy. "That is why I will be working with colleagues in the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Attorney General's Office to put out any information that exists that could shed light on the disaster and its aftermath in the public domain as soon as possible." Relief Trevor Hicks, of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, was relieved to hear the news. He said: "We have heard that a request has been made about the documents and we are expecting confirmation this week. "I am pleased, it's better late than never. "This will enable us to see the full picture of events in a way that we have been denied for 20 years. "It is vital that these files are released in full and not sanitised in any way." The documents covered by the 30-year-rule could include police files and the records of other emergency services, government departments and the local authorities. But a statement by South Yorkshire Police said: "The Chief Constable has not met the Home Secretary on the subject of Hillsborough, nor been asked by anyone to release files early. "The Chief Constable, prior to the anniversary, independently offered to review all material held by South Yorkshire Police to establish what could lawfully be released, given that the force has already made public so much of its archived information."


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