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Police chief in Hillsborough disaster probe resigns

By Lynsey Bradford, Town Reporter Friday 26th October 2012

A former chief constable at the centre of the storm about the police handling of the Hillsborough disaster has not been at his home in Barnsley since he resigned.

 

Sir Norman Bettison stepped down as chief constable of West Yorkshire on Wednesday, claiming an inquiry into his role at Hillsborough was a 'distraction' to the force.

 

He has lived at Keresforth Hall Drive, a private road, for five years and on Wednesday a policeman was stationed at the end of the road and two were outside his house as media organisations tried to contact him.

 

Residents of neighbouring Keresforth Hall Road had no idea Sir Norman lived near by.

 

One woman said: "I had no idea, I was very surprised. I've lived here for 38 years and I know my immediate neighbours but it just shows you that you live here all these years and you don't know who's living nearby."

 

Another neighbour said: "I've lived here nine years and I didn't have a clue. Even with all the police about on Wednesday I still didn't know. I only found out yesterday."

 

Another added: "I didn't know, but I'm not that surprised because it's a very nice area."

Author Roger Silverwood, who also lives on Keresforth Hall Drive, said he had not seen Sir Norman since his resignation was announced.

 

He added: 'I see him coming and going most days but I've not seen him for the last couple. He's always been a very nice man."

 

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 96 people at the Liverpool v Nottingham Forest match at Hillsborough in 1989 and the police handling of it.

 

In a statement, 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."

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