NEW powers allowing the police watchdog to compel officers to attend interviews for the huge Hillsborough investigation came into force yesterday.
The measure was introduced as part of moves to beef up the Independent Police Complaints Commission as it took on an investigation into the 1989 disaster – the biggest ever inquiry into the actions of police in the UK.
Thousands of names have been passed to the watchdog as part of its investigation into the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.
These include officers from South Yorkshire Police and around 20 other forces who were present when the 96 Liverpool fans died during a FA Cup semi-final in 1989.
The IPCC has faced difficulties in the past with cases such as the shooting of Mark Duggan, where officers refused to attend face-to-face interviews. Mr Duggan was killed in London, in August 2011 and his death was the trigger for rioting.
Under the new powers the watchdog will be able to require serving officers to attend witness interviews and to bring misconduct proceedings if they fail to attend.
The IPCC already had the power to make officers come to interviews where there were criminal or misconduct allegations, and this has been extended to situations without those claims.