South Yorkshire Police has spent more than £3 million on lawyers representing eight senior officers involved in the Hillsborough disaster inquests.
A report by the Sheffield Star has revealed the money has gone to law firms representing police officers who held senior or key roles in the force during the time of the disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.
Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright gave permission for police cash to be used for eight officers including Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, who was the match day commander on the day of the disaster – when Liverpool played Nottingham Forest in Sheffield in an FA Cup semi-final on 15th April 1989.
Also being represented is Deputy Chief Constable Peter Hayes – the most senior officer from the force at the time who is still alive today.
The amount of money spent so far, which is expected to continue to mount with the inquests expected to last around a year, would have paid the salaries of 100 police constables on £30,000 a year.
A spokeswoman for PCC Wright said an application for Home Office funding to cover the costs has been submitted.
“All costs are closely scrutinised to ensure every aspect of work carried out is essential,” she told the Sheffield Star.
“Following a Special Grant Application to the Home Office in November, the commissioner has been informed that a decision is expected in the coming weeks.”