Police watchdog opts against publishing full report into Battle of Orgreave

The police watchdog has decided against publishing its full redacted report on the Battle of Orgreave - to avoid it interfering with its probe into the Hillsborough Disaster.

Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 7:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 8:22 am
The Battle of Orgrave

The Independent Police Complaints Commission carried out a ‘scoping exercise’ to look at all the material held on the clash between South Yorkshire Police officers during the Miners’ Strike in 1984 and concluded that the passage of time prevented a full investigation into police actions.

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It looked at the police force's handling of events at the Orgreave coking plant and subsequent prosecutions of miners.

It fears publication of the material examined could interfere with its report on the actions of South Yorkshire Police officers in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster five years later in 1989.

The same senior police officers and solicitor were involved in the aftermath of the Battle of Orgreave and the Hillsborough disaster.An IPCC spokesman said: “After consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, the IPCC has determined that it will not publish an unredacted report from the scoping exercise that it conducted in relation to events which took place at the Orgreave coking plant during the miners dispute.“There may be some material within that report which is relevant to the current Hillsborough investigation. Decisions are yet to be made on whether any criminal proceedings are to be brought as a result of those investigations, and the IPCC does not want to prejudice that process.”The Battle of Orgreave in June 1984 resulted in dozens of injuries on both sides. Pickets complained of excessive force by some of the 6,000 police officers brought in.A total of 95 miners were charged following the clash, but their trials later collapsed.South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC in 2012 over allegations officers colluded to write court statements.The watchdog later said the passage of time prevented a formal investigation, but said there was ‘support’ for the allegation that senior police exaggerated pickets’ use of violence.Calls have been mounting for the Government to order an inquiry into the events at Orgreave and for South Yorkshire Police to open up its archives.