Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Police (Complaints and Conduct) Bill

The Bishop of Liverpool has told peers "justice delayed is justice denied" for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

The Right Reverend James Jones was speaking during a second reading debate on the Police (Complaints and Conduct) Bill on 11 December 2012.

This short bill is intended to increase the powers of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), to conduct its new inquiry into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

The bishop, who chaired the Hillsborough Independent Panel from 2009 until September this year, told peers the journey of justice for the families of those killed "should not now be a long and winding road".

He said: "The families know that justice delayed is indeed justice denied...we owe it to the memory of the 96 to ensure that the next stage is done in a just and timely manner."

The Hillsborough Independent Panel was tasked with examining 450,000 pages of previously unseen documents detailing events surrounding the UK's worst sporting disaster.

The report found police and emergency services had made "strenuous attempts" to deflect the blame for the disaster on to fans.

The panel revealed 164 police statements had been altered - 116 of them to remove or change negative comments about the policing of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Sheffield stadium.

'The road to justice'

For Labour, Baroness Smith of Basildon said the tragedy had been compounded and amplified by the later cover-up.

Lady Smith said the quest for justice had been "hard fought" but due to the tenacity and dedication of the bereaved families, the "truth will out".

Crossbench peer Lord Alton of Liverpool, who was Lib Dem MP for Liverpool Mossley Hill at the time of the tragedy, also welcomed the bill.

He said it had given significant comfort to those affected that Parliament had at last recognised the "terrible tragedy was compounded by injustice and falsification".

Home Office minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach, opening the debate, told peers the bill would provide long-awaited justice for those that died at Hillsborough.

He said: "This short bill provides the IPCC with the tools it needs and marks one step further along the road to justice for the victims of Hillsborough.

"All who support this aim will, I'm sure, support this bill."

The bill also deals with the double jeopardy issues involved in re-investigating a case that a previous body, the Police Complaints Authority, has already examined.

Finally, the bill gives the IPCC powers to compel serving police officers to appear before them.


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