Hillsborough Disaster: Police Cover-Ups, The Norm?
The Hillsborough inquest is by far the largest public slamming of the police to date. Immediate cover up tactics, tampering with evidence, blaming the victims' families for their deaths and even false reporting of how the 96 people died. The height of criminality is astounding.
Sadly, this 23 year old disaster, is not a police culture that belongs to the past only, but it is something that we are witnessing to this very day. This case has been donned as the "worst cover-up in British legal history", but despite its shocking nature, police cover ups have always been quite the norm in the face of public scandal.
We do not have to look too far back. The case of Babar Ahmad case highlighted the thuggery that normal citizens under the smallest suspicion have to endure from police officers. Babar suffered 72 injuries and sexual abuse upon his arrest in 2003. By the 10th September 2004, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to prosecute any of the police officers involved in the attack, despite the incident being documented with evidence. Despite that, by 18th March 2009, Babar Ahmad was awarded £60,000 compensation at the High Court in London after the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson admitted that he had been the victim of a ‘serious, gratuitous and prolonged attack’. Amazingly, the police officers themselves, that broke the law were acquitted without prosecution, despite stark and damning evidence.
All in all, cases of criminality of police personnel have either been met with complete disregard by both the police and the CPS, or have been met with efforts of cover ups, when such cases have come to public light.
Whilst most police officers are noble, law-abiding and serve a vital role in society, there have been too many abuses of power by senior and junior police officers, with thuggish behaviour being representative of a body that resists any kind of public accountability.
The perception of the UK police has been one of being clear, transparent and noble, but now we are seeing the ugly face of corruption that we would normally affiliate with developing countries.
The wider UK population took the side of the police, after all, how could the Police, CPS along with The Sun Newspaper lie to so many people for so long right?
Ultimately, it comes to the question of who will police the police? It's time to reform accountability of the police, as we have started to with the media.