Eight former South Yorkshire Police officers involved in the Hillsborough Disaster inquests are being asked to find ‘alternative sources of funding’ for their legal costs due to police cuts.
South Yorkshire Police is providing financial support to former officers deemed to be ‘interested parties’ in the proceedings, with over £14m spent so far.
But with the hearings set to run into 2016, police commissioner Alan Billings has now written to the men’s legal firms in a bid to end the current deal.
A financial report to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel said the force’s financial strategy had assumed the inquests’ costs would be covered by Government funding.
But it said this has not proved to be the case.
The report said: “In view of this position, the PCC has given notice to the legal firms that they need to explore alternative sources of funding for their clients’ representation so as to mitigate the risks to the inquest proceedings.”
Receiving financial assistance are former chief superintendent David Duckenfield, former superintendents Roger Greenwood and Roger Marshall, retired chief superintendents Terry Wain and Donald Denton, former deputy chief constable Peter Hayes and retired assistant chief constables Stuart Anderson and Walter Jackson.
A spokesman for Dr Billings said he is yet to receive a response from the legal firms to the request.
The new inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground on April 15, 1989, were ordered after the original verdicts were quashed in the High Court in December 2012. The hearings started in March 2014.