Lawyers step up criminal investigation into Hillsborough with office move

The Hillsborough disaster unfolds

The Hillsborough disaster unfolds

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Officials from the Crown Prosecution Service have moved into the same building as Hillsborough police investigators as progress continues on building potential criminal cases over the disaster.

Details were revealed in a new update on the progress of investigations by the Independent Police Complaint Commission’s Hillsborough commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne.

CPS lawyers are now based at Renaissance House in Warrington, the same building as more than 130 workers from the IPCC, as well as staff from Operation Resolve, the criminal investigation into the Hillsborough disaster. The criminal and IPCC investigations are running parallel to the new inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpoool fans at Hillsborough on April 15, 1989.

Ms Cerfontyne said: “Crown Prosecution Service staff have now moved into office space in Renaissance House.

“This is beneficial for both the IPCC and Operation Resolve investigation teams as they look to build case files for consideration of criminal charges.

“The aim is to ensure the CPS has as much knowledge as it can have of the investigative work to assist any future consideration of case files.”

Her update also said the IPCC investigation into the actions of South Yorkshire Police is examining evidence covering almost ten years, looking at the disaster and subsequent investigations.

She said: “The aim is to review what has already been established by the investigation and identify any gaps or new lines of enquiry.

“These stages cover a period of almost a decade, from the disaster up to and including the Stuart Smith scrutiny and private prosecutions.

“The work is looking at how South Yorkshire Police dealt with each of the stages.”

The update added that due to the ongoing inquest process, the IPCC is ‘limited’ in the details it can provide about the progress of Operation Resolve.

Ms Cerfontyne said: “The IPCC continues to manage the aspect of Operation Resolve’s investigation that relates to police involvement in the preparation of the match and on the day itself, providing oversight of these enquiries. Work continues to establish the facts around events within the police control box and around the opening of the gates on the day of the disaster. This is being examined in great detail, using audio visual footage and analysis of recordings of radio transmissions made by emergency services.”