PA Wire/Press Association Images

Manchester police apologise for using Hillsborough disaster image in recruitment poster

The image was recalled within 90 minutes of being circulated.

POLICE IN MANCHESTER have apologised for using a “completely inappropriate” image of the Hillsborough disaster in a recruitment poster.

The poster, which was circulated within Greater Manchester Police this week, used an image from the 1989 disaster advertising for ‘super recognisers’ within the force.

Super recognisers are officers who have the ability to remember the faces of almost everyone they meet. Their skills are used to help capture the country’s most wanted criminals.

Assistant chief constable with Greater Manchester Police, Robert Potts, said senior officers were made aware of the poster on Wednesday.

“This poster contained an image of the Hillsborough disaster in progress, a distressing image which was completely inappropriate for such use,” Potts said in a statement today.

“The poster, which was only ever circulated internally within the force, was immediately recalled and the offending image was removed within 90 minutes of its initial circulation.”

Hillsborough memorial service File image PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

In April, in inquest jury ruled that the 96 football fans who lost their lives at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final were unlawfully killed, bringing closure to the victims’ families in their 27-year fight for justice.

The findings were highly critical of South Yorkshire Police, whose officers were accused of  ”retelling discredited lies” during the inquest. Police chief constable, David Crompton, was suspended immediately after the inquest.

Potts said the use of the Hillsborough disaster image by Greater Manchester Police was “not intended to offend” but to “demonstrate how super recognisers can greatly assist ongoing investigations”.

“The super recognisers technique has been successfully used in a number of complex national investigations, to identify potential witnesses as well as suspects,” he said.

We acted swiftly to remove the offending image and limit the distress caused. However, I recognise that the use of this image was obviously inappropriate and I am deeply sorry for the upset and offence that this has caused.

Read: ‘This has been the greatest miscarriage of justice in our times. But, finally, it is over’

Read: South Yorkshire Police chief constable suspended over his response to Hillsborough

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