Hillsborough families say police spied on campaigners

Liverpool fans holding Hillsborough scarves Andrew Brookes' sister said all mail relating to Hillsborough would arrive opened

Related Stories

Relatives of Liverpool fans killed in the Hillsborough disaster have called on the Metropolitan Police to answer claims officers spied on them.

The call comes after Private Eye magazine had a freedom of information (FOI) request turned down by the Met.

The Met has yet to comment, but reportedly turned down the FOI request to "safeguard national security".

Sheila Coleman, of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, called for police to show "transparency" and admit spying.

'Everything opened'

Private Eye asked the Met for files it held on the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and the Hillsborough Family Support Group following claims Special Branch officers were involved in surveillance of the organisations.

It reported that police would neither confirm nor deny that it held any papers on the disaster.

Louise Brookes Louise Brookes believes her correspondence was opened

Both the justice campaign and the support group have been at the forefront of attempts to discover what happened at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final which saw the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.

Fresh inquests into their deaths will begin in Warrington in March after the original accidental death inquest verdicts were quashed in 2012 following an independent report.

Louise Brookes lost her brother Andrew Mark Brookes in the disaster and she alleges she has had her post intercepted or tampered with.

She said: "Everything to do with Hillsborough would arrive opened."

'Promised transparency'

Meanwhile, Ms Coleman claimed campaigners' phones were "definitely tapped".

She said: "I represented six families in 1993 and we were aware we were under surveillance.

"A lot of attempts were made to frighten us but it just went with the territory.

"It was appalling. Not so much for me but those who had been bereaved were effectively criminalised.

Start Quote

If we came across any evidence [spying] had happened we would investigate ”

End Quote Independent Police Complaints Commission

"I'm disappointed that the government acknowledged a state cover-up but the Met are still holding back."

She said families and campaigners for Hillsborough have been "promised transparency and accountability and the Met should fall into line with that".

Ninety-five victims were crushed to death in Britain's worst sporting disaster, on 15 April 1989, at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium during Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

The 96th victim died in 1993 when the Law Lords ruled that doctors could stop tube-feeding and hydration.

As well as fresh inquests, there are two ongoing investigations into the disaster.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is examining police actions at and after the tragedy, while former Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart is looking at the causes of the tragedy and the deaths and examining the actions of a range of organisations and bodies, including South Yorkshire Police.

The IPCC said it was not actively pursuing allegations of spying on families and campaigners.

But a spokesman said: "We are reviewing all material in relation to Hillsborough and clearly if we came across any evidence that this had happened we would investigate it whether or not we have received a complaint."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Liverpool

Weather

Liverpool

17 °C 10 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Presumed dead law change 10:19:

    A law that makes it easier for families to deal with the affairs of people who are missing and presumed dead has comes into force in England and Wales today.

    Kevin Fasting

    The new law will allow the families to apply for a Certificate of Presumed Death.

    It will help people such as the family of Kevin Fasting, 49, (pictured) who left his home in 2003, never to return.

     
  2.  
    Police station plan conference 10:15: Jessica Robbins BBC Radio Merseyside

    I'm at a press conference about the £130m plan to overhaul police stations across Merseyside.

    Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy and Chief Constable John Murphy

    The proposals could see some bases moving into community centres and libraries.

     
  3.  
    Turn back time 10:09: Sean Styles BBC Radio Merseyside

    I'm back and I'd like to know what decade would you live in if you had the choice?

    In a recent poll one third of people surveyed said they would rather be living in the 60s- and a lot of the people who were asked weren't even born at the time!

    If I had the choice to go back I'd prefer to stay right where I am thank you very much.

    What do you think? Call 0151 709 9333 or text 81333 with Mersey before your text.

     
  4.  
    Man bailed after M53 crash 10:04:

    A lorry driver arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after a crash on the M53 has been bailed, Merseyside Police said.

    M53 crash

    The 60-year-old man had been involved in a collision with eight other vehicles near Woodchurch in Wirral yesterday.

    A 51-year-old man died at the scene and another is in a critical, but stable, condition in hospital.

     
  5.  
    News on the hour 09:57: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    The senior police officer who called for exit gates at the Hillsborough stadium to be opened is continuing to give evidence at the new inquests.

    Yesterday, former Supt Roger Marshall admitted he'd made mistakes on the day of the disaster and that he "profoundly regrets" not asking for the kick-off to be delayed.

    The hear more listen live to the bulletin at 10:00.

     
  6.  
    Rodgers warning on Sturridge 09:43: BBC Sport

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned striker Daniel Sturridge will not be fit enough to play for England in this month's Euro 2016 qualifiers.

    Daniel Sturridge and Brendan Rodgers

    Sturridge, 25, has been sidelined since suffering a thigh strain while on England duty at the start of September.

    He did not travel for tonight's Champions League tie at FC Basel.

     
  7.  
    Chester trains disrupted 09:39:

    Merseyrail emails to say due to signalling problems at Spital the Chester and Ellesmere Port line is disrupted.

     
  8.  
    Ferry firm to operate extra sailings 09:33: Mark Edwards BBC News Online

    The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company will operate 48 additional sailings to Liverpool next year, it has announced.

    The Manannan fast-craft in Douglas harbour

    The new schedule also includes extra year-round services to Heysham, as well as winter services to Birkenhead and seasonal Dublin and Belfast crossings.

     
  9.  
    Canada geese cull U-turn 09:28: Warrington Guardian

    Birdwatchers have praised water giant United Utilities after they have announced a raft of measures to deter Canada geese from the area - without killing them.

    Canada Geese

    The U-turn follows outrage over 60 birds being killed at the Lingley Mere site in Great Sankey during the breeding season in July this year.

     
  10.  
    Save our lollipop lady 09:16: Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside

    People in New Ferry in Birkenhead are campaigning to keep their lollipop lady Kath Kerr.

    Campaign to save ollipop lady Cath Kerr

    Her job is under threat due to council cuts.

     
  11.  
    £130m police station plan unveiled 09:05: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    A £130m plan to overhaul police stations across Merseyside could see some bases moving into community centres and libraries.

    Sir Jonathan Murphy and Jane Kennedy

    Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy wants updated equipment and easier access for the public.

     
  12.  
    News on the hour 08:57: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    A huge plan to close old police stations in Merseyside and move officers into community centres and libraries has been unveiled.

    Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy wants updated equipment and easier access for the public.

    To hear more listen live to the bulletin at 09:00.

     
  13.  
    top headlines
     
  14.  
    Jack-knifed lorry blocks road 08:46:

    BBC Travel says Ormskirk Road, southbound at Aintree is blocked due to a jack-knifed lorry - affecting traffic towards Liverpool from the M57 and M58.

     
  15.  
    Attempted murder charge 08:40: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    A Kirkby man has now been charged with attempted murder after a drive-by shooting in Everton five months ago.

    Two men were fired at on the corner of Lance Close and Landseer Road in April and one was shot in the face.

     
  16.  
    Earning from creative pursuits 08:34: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    A new study suggests a third of people in work are earning money from creative pursuits outside the office or factory - and many of them would love to make it their main job.

    cakes

    I've been to see Laura Worthington who started a bakery in her kitchen in Liverpool.

    They were delicious!

     
  17.  
    Motorist killed in M53 crash 08:20:

    A man was killed in a crash involving a lorry and eight other vehicles on a Merseyside motorway.

    M53 crash

    The victim, aged in his 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident, which happened on the M53 near Woodchurch, Wirral, at about 10:30.

    A female passenger in the Citroen car, also in her 40s, was taken to hospital.

     
  18.  
    £130m police station plan unveiled 08:15: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    A £130m plan to overhaul police stations across Merseyside has been announced, and could see some bases moving into community centres and libraries.

    Sir Jonathan Murphy and Jane Kennedy

    The project will see aging police stations close, others replaced or refurbished, and some move into community buildings.

    Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy (pictured with chief constable Sir Jonathan Murphy) said the 10-year scheme would save £2.5m each year on running costs.

     
  19.  
    Cloudy with patchy rain 08:09: Sara Blizzard Weather Presenter, BBC

    There will be a fair amount of cloud with some patchy rain at times but it will be dry for much of the time, BBC Weather reports.

    Weather forecast

    Later in the afternoon, sunnier, drier and fresher conditions will steadily encroach from the North West.

     
  20.  
    New on the hour 08:00: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    A huge plan to close old police stations in Merseyside and move officers into community centres and libraries has been unveiled.

    Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy wants updated equipment and easier access for the public.

    To find out more listen live to the bulletin at 08:00.

     
  21.  
    Good morning 08:00: Nafeesa Shan BBC News

    Hey everybody you've got me today to give you the day's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

    The caffeine has kicked in and I can see daylight too now hurrah! So let's get cracking.

    If you'd like to get in touch send me an email at merseyside.locallive@bbc.co.uk, tweet @bbcmerseyside or post me a message on Facebook.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FilmsOnes to watch

    BBC Culture picks nine top films coming out next month

Programmes

  • A computer simulation showing a planned station upgrade in Hong KongClick Watch

    Simulated world - how architects are using virtual and augmented reality to transform our cities

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.