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Call to reinstate police chief 'unfairly' dismissed after Hillsborough inquests

Published 15/09/2016

David Crompton was suspended after the Hillsborough inquests
David Crompton was suspended after the Hillsborough inquests

The chief constable who was suspended in the wake of the Hillsborough inquests was "unfairly" dismissed, a police chief has said.

David Crompton lost his job at the head of South Yorkshire Police after the inquest into the deaths of 96 football fans ruled that police conduct contributed to or caused the disaster.

Concerns about public trust and confidence in the under-fire force led to his suspension on April 27.

Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Tom Winsor, who is required to give his views on the situation as part of dismissal proceedings, said criticisms of Mr Crompton were "conspicuously unfair" and he should be reinstated.

In a report seen by Channel 4 News, Sir Tom said the decision was "conspicuously unfair, disproportionate and so unreasonable that I cannot understand how the PCC (police and crime commissioner) has reached this view".

The embattled former chief constable was criticised by the families of Hillsborough victims due to the stance taken by police lawyers during the two years of proceedings.

Following the ruling, Mr Crompton reiterated an apology for the tragedy and said he accepted the findings of the inquest.

The Chief Inspector said Mr Crompton's statement - in which he had said he was trying to put the behaviour of his force into "context" rather than justify it - was not an error of judgment, as had reportedly been suggested at the time.

According to Channel 4, Sir Tom said no-one who read the apology "could rationally have concluded that CC Crompton was refusing to accept the verdict of the jury or rescinding the full apology already made. He plainly was not."

His suspension followed a torrid four years at the helm of the force which saw the organisation criticised for a range of different controversies.

As well as the policing of the Hillsborough disaster and the events that followed the 1989 tragedy, the force has been at the centre of the scandal over child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, the controversy surrounding a search of Sir Cliff Richard's house and ongoing questions about the policing of the miners' strike.

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