Hillsborough: Police Chief Quits

24 October 2012, 13:57 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

The man, who has been heavily criticised for his roll in the Hillsborough disaster investigation, has quit.

Sir Norman Bettison was part of the South Yorkshire police investigation into the disaster.

He's been under pressure since an independent report revealed the extent of police cover-ups at the time of the tragedy.

In a statement issued through the authority, Sir Norman said he had never blamed the fans for the tragedy.

Sir Norman said: “First, and foremost, the Hillsborough tragedy 23 years ago left 96 families bereaved and countless others injured and affected by it.

“I have always felt the deepest compassion and sympathy for the families, and I recognise their longing to understand exactly what happened on that April afternoon. I have never blamed the fans for causing the tragedy.”

Sir Norman dismissed reports of a conversation he had in a pub in which he allegedly said he was “concocting” a story for South Yorkshire Police.

He said: “The suggestion that I would say to a passing acquaintance that I was deployed as part of a team tasked to 'concoct a false story of what happened', is both incredible and wrong. That isn't what I was tasked to do, and I did not say that.”

Sir Norman said the police authority and some of the candidates in the forthcoming PCC elections made it clear that they wanted him to go.

“I do so, not because of any allegations about the past, but because I share the view that this has become a distraction to policing in West Yorkshire now and in the future.”