Secrecy over Orgreave inquiry decision as IPCC seek legal advice

A picket inspecting a line of police officers outside the Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham.
A picket inspecting a line of police officers outside the Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham.
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Officials from the Independent Police Complaints Commission have decided if there will be a full investigation into the infamous ‘Battle of Orgreave’ - but are keeping the ruling secret for now.

Campaigners have been waiting more than two years for a decision from the IPCC and are still in the dark about whether one will take place.

Lawyers for the IPCC are now checking over details of the ruling before it is made public.

Campaigners understand a report on the decision is being checked so it does not prejudice the ongoing Hillsborough inquests, which also involve South Yorkshire Police.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: “The IPCC has completed the assessment of matters arising from the policing of events at Orgreave in 1984 and made our decision on whether there should be an investigation.

“We must now seek legal advice about the publication of that decision before we can proceed further.”

The IPCC said before Christmas, prior to reaching a decision, that it hoped to make a public announcement early in the New Year.

In the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ 95 miners were arrested at Orgreave coking plant on June 18, 1984, after clashes with police during the national Miners’ Strike.

When the cases came to court, all were abandoned when it became clear that evidence provided by police was unreliable.

Later, South Yorkshire Police paid £425,000 in compensation to 39 pickets in out-of-court settlements.

Barbara Jackson, secretary of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, said she was informed last week that a decision had been made - but does not know what it is.

“We have pleased they have made a decision but we have no idea what that decision is,” she said.

“Hopefully it is the one we want.”