Anger Over Crowd Control Barriers
8 January 2012, 08:34
A campaigner for justice following the Hillsborough disaster says it was "insensitive" to use crowd control barriers for an FA Cup game at the Sheffield stadium this weekend.
Margaret Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son James died in the football tragedy in 1989 when Liverpool took on Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final, said she could not understand why police were testing the use of the barriers.
South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Wednesday announced they were trying out the new barriers for the cup game against West Ham on Sunday.
It was chosen as a trial ahead of the potentially explosive derby match against Sheffield United next month.
Mrs Aspinall, chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said:
"I am quite disappointed about this.
I think it's very insensitive, especially as they are doing it for an FA Cup game. I don't understand why they are doing this and I am really angry about it."
She said she felt using the barriers at the same Leppings Lane end where 96 Liverpool fans received fatal injuries was particularly insensitive.
South Yorkshire Police (SYP) said they used "a variety of nationally approved tactics to police large events".
A spokeswoman said:
"SYP, along with other police forces throughout the country, have been using crowd control barriers at football matches and other public events for a few years.
The barriers are used at other South Yorkshire stadiums, most recently at a local derby, but this will be the first time the barriers have been prepared to be used at the Hillsborough grounds."