Crown Prosecution to consider criminal charges after Hillsborough verdict:
After a jury ruled that the Hillsborough victims were unlawfully killed, the CPS says criminal charges could be brought.
The Crown Prosecution Service will formally consider whether any criminal charges should be brought against individuals or corporate bodies over the Hillsborough disaster.
At the end of a two-year inquest, a jury found on Tuesday that the 96 people who were fatally injured at the stadium in 1989 were unlawfully killed.
The jury determined that supporters were not responsible for the disaster, caused when a crush occurred in the overcrowded Leppings Lane end of the stadium.
They also agreed that errors or omissions by police and commanding officers, in both planning and response, contributed to the loss of life, adding that engineers should have done more to highlight and rectify concerns over the safety features of the stadium.
Sue Hemming, Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division at the CPS, said in a statement: "Following the inquest's determinations the CPS team will continue to work closely with Operation Resolve and the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) as in due course, the CPS will formally consider whether any criminal charges should be brought against any individual or corporate body based upon all the available evidence, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
"We would ask that everyone is mindful of the continuing investigations and the potential for future criminal proceedings when reporting or publicly commenting on the inquest's conclusions."
IPCC Deputy Chair, Rachel Cerfontyne, added: "The conclusion of the inquests is another milestone and a day when my thoughts are with the families and friends of those who died as a result of the disaster.
"Now the inquests have ended our role in providing documents and other material to support the Coroner is over. However, the end of the inquests does not mark the end of the process. Our attention now focuses on concluding our criminal investigation into the aftermath of the disaster. This is by far the biggest and most complex investigation ever undertaken by the IPCC."
Jon Stoddart, the officer in charge of Operation Resolve, the criminal investigation into the deaths of the victims, expects his team to have concluded their work by the beginning of next year, after which the CPS will need to decide whether to prosecute.
"For the past two years, my team has supported the coroner, John Goldring, and provided him with thousands of documents, witness statements and reports to assist him in conducting these inquests," he said. "While completing this task, my team has also been carrying out a criminal investigation.
"Now that the inquests have concluded my sole focus is on completing the criminal investigation which I expect will be finished by the turn of the year. It will then be for the Crown Prosecution Service to consider the evidence and decide whether any individual or organisation should face criminal prosecution."
Hillsborough 'the greatest miscarriage of justice of our time' - Burnham:
After a jury ruled that 96 people were unlawfully killed in the Hillsborough disaster, MP Andy Burnham has welcomed the news.
Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham has welcomed the Hillsborough verdict and the end to "the greatest miscarriage of justice of our time".
A jury concluded by majority decision that the 96 individuals who were fatally injured in the disaster in 1989 were unlawfully killed and were not themselves to blame in any way for the tragedy.
The Crown Prosecution Service later confirmed that it will formally consider whether any criminal charges must now be brought against individuals and organisations deemed responsible for the disaster.
And Burnham, who has been steadfast in his support for the families campaigning for justice, has called for prosecutions after the inquest's verdict.
"This has been the greatest miscarriage of justice of our times. But, finally, it is over," he said in a statement. "After 27 long years, this is real justice for the 96, their families and all Liverpool supporters. The survivors of this tragedy can finally be remembered for what they were on that day – the heroes of Hillsborough who tried to help their fellow fans.
"The Hillsborough Independent Panel gave us the truth. This Inquest has delivered justice. Next must come accountability. For 27 years, this police force has consistently put protecting itself above protecting those hurt by the horror of Hillsborough. People must be held to account for their actions and prosecutions must now follow.
"Disgracefully, lawyers for retired police have attempted to continue the cover-up in this courtroom. They made it an adversarial battle in defiance of the Lord Chief Justice's ruling. This has been brutal on the Hillsborough families and put them through hell once again. The current leadership of South Yorkshire Police needs to explain why it went back on its 2012 apology at this Inquest, prolonging the agony for the families.
"The sense of relief we feel is tempered by the knowledge that this day has taken far too long in coming. The struggle for justice has taken too great a toll on too many. But the Hillsborough families have at long last prevailed and finally their loved-ones can rest in peace."
Steve Rotheram, MP for Liverpool Walton, added: "I have waited 27 years for this moment. But I know it comes too late for many. I was there on the day and saw the horror unfold before my very eyes.
"Before we'd even buried our dead, the hurt of loss was compounded by the lies and smears. I remember picking up a newspaper and feeling sick to the pit of my stomach. They inflicted terrible pain on a city at its moment of maximum grief.
"I've seen how friends have suffered. This is a momentous day but they should never have had to wait so long. The truth is out there for all to see. Justice has been served by the verdicts and now it is about accountability."