A NEW inquest into the 1974 Birmingham Pub Bombings has been opened by Birmingham and Solihull Coroner Louise Hunt.
The tragedy claimed the lives of 21 people in two separate incidents at the Tavern in the Town and Mulberry Bush pubs in Birmingham City Centre.
Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: “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.
“It is almost 42 years since these events.
” I understand families of those who lost their lives are frustrated, disappointed and angry.
“Since 2012 and directly as a result of the campaign by families of those who died we have carefully reassessed the opportunities to bring the people responsible to justice.
“Despite an intense scrutiny we have not been able to see, at this time, a prospect of doing this.
“That has been an authentic and painstaking search for the truth.”
Mr Thompson added that the police had not, nor would close this investigation.
He added: “I hope the new inquest provides answers to families.”