Officer apologises over 'Hillsborough tweet' after Liverpool car park fire

3 January 2018, 20:06

A police officer has apologised after his tweets about the Liverpool car park fire were construed as referring to the Hillsborough disaster.

A Twitter user who goes under the name Constable Curtis Ritchie posted a tweet that said: "Have they started blaming the police yet?"

The posting triggered complaints to Northumbria Police with one person claiming it was a "disparaging remark about Scousers".

Another message was sent to the officer's bosses in Berwick, Northumberland, that said: "Can you please ask pc Curtis Ritchie (8873) to elaborate on his recent comments to the people of Liverpool & particularly families of the 96?".

The officer involved in the Twitter row has not been officially named but the force said he had apologised.

A spokesman said: "Northumbria Police does not condone the comments made by one of its officers on Twitter, it is clearly unacceptable.

"The force expects all its officers to uphold the highest levels of professionalism.

"The officer involved has expressed regret for any offence and upset caused and he has received management advice regarding his actions."

The fire started in a car park next to the Liverpool Echo Arena on New Year's Eve and destroyed up to 1,600 cars.

Insurers estimate there will be claims worth £20m following the blaze.

The Association of British Insurers said customers have claimed for belongings as well as the incinerated vehicles.

Rob Cummings, its head of motor and liability, said: "Insurance exists for just this sort of event, and insurers were working hard over the bank holiday to get on with processing people's claims as quickly as possible.

"Customers affected should be reassured that insurers are expecting to pay out around £20 million to help get them back on the road."