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The day in FoIA: Hillsborough cover-up, Immigrant crime, Middlewich incinerator battle costing taxpayers

Hillsborough report: contempt and cover-up

Brand a view of events a conspiracy, and you lump it in with moon landing denials and the Roswell incident, But conspiracies can happen in real life too

Brand a view of events a conspiracy, and you lump it in with moon landing denials and wilder accounts of the Roswell UFO incident. But conspiracies can happen in real life too; On Wednesday we learned about one that took place within the South Yorkshire police in 1989. In the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, which eventually killed 96, officers should have concentrated on learning the lessons to ensure it could never happen again. Instead, it transpires from the forensic work of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, they looked after their own. In no fewer than 116 cases, the police substantially amended their own original written statements before submitting them to the inquiry, in order “to remove or alter comments unfavourable” to them.

This fixing of the facts has been confirmed, after long years in which bereaved families, dogged campaigners and journalists – including our own David Conn – have picked away at an official take on the tragedy that played down police culpability, and at surrounding slander that implied that Liverpudlian victims had somehow authored their own fate. Certain oddities were always evident, such as the official inquest’s seeming undermining of parts of the Taylor report, and its arbitrary insistence that all fatalities had occurred by 3.15pm. But now that we know that these peculiarities were accompanied by a great cloaking cover-up, the next question is how on earth it was allowed to stand. The answer is: with the connivance of several pillars of an establishment that was – at that time – gripped by something approaching the mentality of class war.

Read more.

The Guardian | September 12th 2012

Eastern European criminals blamed for surge in migrant offences

Eastern European criminals see Britain as “rich pickings” and are thought to be behind a surge in offences committed by migrants last year.

Foreign nationals being arrested for some crimes including robbery, burglary and theft have more than doubled in the period, figures show. In general, crimes committed by those born abroad has increased by 53 per cent.

An investigation has discovered increasing numbers of foreign nationals being detained by West Midlands Police, the country’s second biggest force, which is already struggling to cope with unprecedented cuts of £125 million.

Read more.

Richard Alleyne| The Telegraph | September 12th 2012

Middlewich incinerator battle cost taxpayers almost a quarter of a million pounds

CHESHIRE East Council’s battle to prevent an incinerator being built in Middlewich cost taxpayers almost a quarter of a million pounds.

Figures obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that the authority had to pay costs of £210,088 at a public inquiry.

The council rejected the controversial plans in April 2010 but applicant Covanta appealed against the decision.

Read more.

David Morgan| Middlewich Guardian | September 13th 2012

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