South Yorkshire Police have been ordered to hand over boxes of evid-ence about the infamous ‘Battle of Orgreave’.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has given the force until the end of the week to hand over the five boxes, after first requesting them in June.
It follows anger from campaigners that the IPCC is still yet to make a decision on whether it will hold a full investigation into Orgreave – two years after it was requested.
However, the South Yorkshire force says the missing files are not in their possession and they are in ‘negotiation’ with their former insurers, which holds them, to hand them over.
The IPCC said if police do not hand over the files by the end of this week, it will use its powers to force the evidence to be released.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The force does not physically possess these documents.
“They were previously held by the force’s insurers at the time.
“The firm acting for the force’s current insurers claims the documents are partly the property of our former insurers and their consent would be required to release them.
“South Yorkshire Police are in negotiation with the firm to obtain the documents.
“South Yorkshire Police voluntarily referred the matter to the IPCC and is committed to working with them to resolve this matter as soon as possible to ensure an open, honest and transparent process.”
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.
The IPCC has said it will make a decision by Christmas on whether there will be a full investigation.
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