South Yorkshire Police prepare for Hillsborough compensation pay-outs

A new financial report reveals South Yorkshire Police are making plans to award millions of pounds in compensation to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

The police force has earmarked £14 million, which also includes compensation for the victims of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal.

Initially £4.8 million has been set-aside for each incident – although it is likely more money will be required – and a further £9 million Home Office grant has been secured to help cover the costs for this financial year.

Ninety-six people died and thousands of spectators were injured in the April 1989 sporting disaster in Sheffield.

It has been estimated that more than 5,000 Liverpool supporters could be eligible for the compensation, as well as the families of the 96, and could be in line for pay-outs upwards of £50,000 each.

Last year it emerged at the conclusion of a two-year inquest that a group of retired South Yorkshire Police officers who served in the 1980s had reportedly been told they “did a good job” as the force faced criticism in the wake of the Hillsborough inquests.

The former officers were told they had tried to act with dignity while “bile and hatred” had been directed towards the force, which faced “immense challenges” in the 1980s.

The jury at the inquest found that the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster were unlawfully killed – after a 27-year campaign for accountability.

After the inquest, South Yorkshire Police came under fire in the House of Commons, with criticism led by the then shadow home secretary and Old Roan born, Andy Burnham, who accused the force of “protecting itself above protecting people”.

Mr Burnham called for the chief constable’s resignation, saying the families had been put “through hell again” during the longest jury case in British legal history.

He said millions of pounds of public money had been used to continue a “cover-up” and retell “discredited lies against Liverpool supporters”.