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Police planned to use Hillsborough cash for holidays
19 Aug 2013 08:08
Sir Norman Bettison asked for £2000 to refurbish police station reception
Sir Norman BettisonSir Norman Bettison
South Yorkshire police chiefs wanted to use funds donated in memory of Hillsborough disaster victims to pay for breaks in the sun for their officers, it has emerged.
The ECHO can reveal a holiday flat, microwave ovens for police station kitchens and new gym equipment were on a wish list circulated among senior officers in February 1991.
The majority of the £12m fund had been given to families, survivors and others affected by the disaster, including match stewards at the stadium.
But a significant amount of what were described as “residual” funds remained, and its trustees asked police and other organisations for ideas on how they might be used.
Former Merseyside chief constable Norman Bettison, then a Superintendent based in South Yorkshire Police’s F Division, requested £2,000 to refurbish the reception area of his police station.
Other ideas included new blinds for the force’s casualty bureau and “better gifts” for officers on sick leave.
The disaster fund included £100,000 from Liverpool FC, as well as money from Liverpool city council and the proceeds of a charity version of Ferry Cross the Mersey featuring Paul McCartney and Gerry Marsden, which was number one for three weeks in May and June, 1989.
Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Margaret Aspinall, said: “It is one of the most shocking things I’ve heard in a long time.
“It’s not something I was previously aware of and to hear how, even in 1991 when it was clear to everyone that the police were to blame, they were suggesting money should go to them to pay for microwaves and holidays. This really is quite hard to believe, and to hear Bettison suggesting money should go to refurbish a police station is sickening.
“People often think all of that money went to the families, but they are wrong. A lot of it went elsewhere. I feel that 96 people died for that money – and they wanted to use it for new microwaves. It’s despicable.”
The proposed holiday flat “either home or abroad” came from Chief Inspector John Donnelly, who was in charge of policing Sheffield city centre on the day of the disaster.
A submission from the force’s D Division asked for gymnasium equipment, including exercise bikes, and microwaves, which it said were “always being requested” at police stations.
None of the projects are believed to have been approved by the fund’s trustees.
In his proposal, Mr Bettison identified the police control room at Hillsborough as being in need of repair, but concluded “the room is the responsibility of the Sheffield Wednesday Football Club and the police would therefore be deriving no benefit from such a contribution.”
He added: “I therefore propose a preferred option that if funds are available then Hammerton Road Police Station, which was used as a reception area for friends and relatives of those who died in the disaster, should benefit.”
Sheila Coleman, of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign said: "What makes me feel so angry about this is the fact that I asked the disaster fund would they give a small amount of money for a person who lost a family member at Hillsborough for her bus fares to college for an access course.
“And the reply I received was ‘No, the families have already had money’.
“This shows the contempt authorities had for Hillsborough families and victims. It's disgraceful."
If nothing else makes you sign the petition and spread the link on FB and twitter then this just might make you ........
Please sign it now and get family and friends to sign......
Last edited by NACNUD; 19-8-13 at 12:55.
Ok petition is approaching 23k......if if all who have signed get one person to sign[husband,wife,brother,sister,cousin,auntie,uncle,fr iend etc we will be on 46k and if they all then get one person to sign we will be nearly there....How difficult is it.....!!!!!!!!!!
Sign....get someone else to sign and ask them to do the same.....thank you......
Don't know why they say shocked...nothing surprises us regarding this excuse of a person.....
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