South Yorkshire Police Service's Director of Corporate Mendacity has responded to suggestions, made by David Cameron in the House of Commons yesterday, that the Police had over decades sought to cover up their own responsibility for the Hillsborough disaster, where 96 football fans died.
Superintendant Mark Martin for S.Y.P.S. spoke at a press conference today - "It’s all very well to criticise the Police’s crowd-control units from the comfort of a cosy office. But don't forget that week-in and week-out our specialist football ground squads are working with some of the most foul-mouthed aggressive yobs you’ll ever meet. And with members of the public as well."
Moving on to the specific allegations surrounding this case Martin said “Look, after witnessing a tragedy like Hillsborough, even a highly trained Police Officer might allow emotions to cloud his thinking. For instance, immediately after such an event and in the heat of the moment, an Officer might easily write something in error like ‘It was complete chaos outside the stadium and to be honest we’d really lost it. Hundreds of fans couldn’t get in and although they were good-humoured we didn’t know what we could do with them if they got a bit grumpy. They were scousers after all. Our Guv., who was in charge of the outside team, said we should open the gates and let Bob, his opposite number inside the ground, deal with them. He and Bob had had this practical joke thing going for years.’”
Mark Martin went on “The next day, after some reflection, that Officer might want to slightly refine his statement to read, perhaps, ‘The Liverpool fans were all drunk and abusive, attacked us with hammers, pissed on our boots, said our sister were slaggs, rushed the gates and forced their way into the ground.’”
However, it seems that some Officers only remember what really happened after some external prompting, as Superintendant Martin explained “We’ve found the simple phrase 'Do you still have plans for a long-term career in the Police, with an index-linked pension?' is what the medics call a powerful ‘psychological trigger’. But if even that doesn’t do the trick, we have a fall-back position and let a senior colleague amend the statement to reflect what actually happened.”