IPCC report on Bettison dealings

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been investigating a range of allegations against Sir Norman Bettison The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been investigating a range of allegations against Sir Norman Bettison

The police watchdog is publishing a report on a chief constable's dealings with his police authority following the publication of a damning report on the Hillsborough disaster.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been investigating a range of allegations against Sir Norman Bettison following the tragedy on April 15, 1989.

He resigned as chief constable of West Yorkshire last year.

The watchdog said the report will focus on the narrow issue of Sir Norman's relationship with his police authority in the period after the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, which laid bare police attempts to shift blame for the tragedy to the victims.

Sir Norman, who has always denied any involvement in a cover-up or any wrongdoing in relation to the disaster, was a chief inspector with South Yorkshire Police at the time of the disaster.

He attended the match at Sheffield Wednesday's ground as a spectator but, after the tragedy, he was involved in the subsequent force investigation.

Sir Norman was referred to the IPCC over claims that he gave misleading information in the wake of the tragedy and that he tried to influence West Yorkshire Police Authority's decision-making process in relation to the referral. He resigned as the West Yorkshire chief in October, saying it was because the controversy had become a "distraction to policing in West Yorkshire".

In a statement issued through the police authority at the time, Sir Norman said he had never blamed the fans for the tragedy. At the time of his resignation, Sir Norman said the police authority and some of the candidates in the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections made it clear that they wanted him to go.

Kevin Robinson, the former chairman of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, told BBC Radio 5 that if Sir Norman had broken the law or done anything to corrupt the law he should be prosecuted accordingly.

He said: "There's no exemption for him, it doesn't matter what he is or who he is. We are all here to obey the law and he is no different. If he has got nothing to hide, then he has got nothing to worry about."

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