Police and ambulance services 'caused or contributed' to Hillsborough disaster


Both the police and the ambulance service caused or contributed to the loss of lives in the Hillsborough disaster, the jury has found.

The jurors concluded that South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service "caused or contributed" by an error or omission after the crush in the west terrace had begun to develop.

The Hillsborough disaster unfolded during Liverpool's FA cup tie against Nottingham Forest on April 15 1989 as thousands of fans were crushed at Sheffield Wednesday's ground.

 people climbing over the fence at the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough Stadium to escape the pens
(Hillsborough Inquests/PA)

The jurors were asked to answer 14 questions at the conclusion of the longest jury proceedings in British legal history.

They also found that features of the design, construction and layout of the stadium considered to be dangerous or defective caused or contributed to the disaster.

The jurors also unanimously found that policing of the match caused or contributed to a dangerous situation developing at the Leppings Lane turnstiles.

Snappa graphic showing the layout of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground

Commanding officers also caused or contributed to the crush on the terrace, the jury decided, as did those senior officers in the police control box when the order was given to open the exit gates at the Leppings Lane end of the stadium.

Jurors also found the safety certification and oversight of the stadium also caused or contributed to the tragedy.

CCTV still taken from video showing the opening of Gate A and B at the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough Stadium
(Hillsborough Inquests/PA)

They reached the same conclusion in relation to Sheffield Wednesday's management and/or preparation for the semi-final tie and the dangerous situation that developed at the Leppings Lane turnstiles and in the west stand.

However, the jury concluded that the club's conduct on match day may only have caused or contributed to the same situation.

Hillsborough stadium

The club's then consultant engineers, Eastwood & Partners, should also have done more to detect and advise on any unsafe or unsatisfactory features the stadium which caused or contributed to the disaster.

The inquests began on March 31, 2014, in a specially built courtroom in Warrington.