West Midlands Police Chief acknowledges past failings as coroner reopens Birmingham bombings inquest
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West Midlands Police Chief acknowledges past failings as coroner reopens Birmingham bombings inquest

 

THE coroner for Birmingham and Solihull Louise Hunt, has confirmed she willl reopen the inquest into the deaths of the 21 people killed in the 1974 blasts in Birmingham city centre.

The decision follows months of deliberations and meetings between the coroner, the police and the families of those who were killed in the bombings.

Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Dave Thompson has said he supports the decision, vowing that the force will assist the process in any way required.

He went on to acknowledge their roll in the jailing of the Birmingham Six - Hugh Callaghan, Patrick Joseph Hill, Gerard Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, William Power and John Walker - in 1975, who were later acquitted.

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"The Birmingham Pub Bombings of 1974 are one of the most serious terrorist attacks in the UK. West Midlands Police not only failed to catch those responsible but caused a miscarriage of justice. I have said and reiterate again, it is the most serious failing in this force’s history," he said.

"It is almost 42 years since these events. I understand families of those who lost their lives are frustrated, disappointed and angry."

He added: "We have not nor will not close this investigation. West Midlands Police will support this enquiry as we have done through the recent hearings by the Coroner which determined whether the inquest should reopen. I hope the new inquest provides answers to families."

The Irish Post reported last month that the coroner had seen significant new information suggesting the police had been tipped off about the attacks.