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Orgreave: Home Secretary to announce inquiry into police violence against miners

A lawyer is set to be appointed to review evidence in October

Jon Stone
Thursday 15 September 2016 08:41 BST
Mounted policemen lined up at Orgreave coking plant
Mounted policemen lined up at Orgreave coking plant (Getty Images)

The Government will announce an inquiry into police conduct at the so-called Battle of Orgreave in 1984, it has been reported.

Witnesses have long alleged that South Yorkshire Police orchestrated a pitched battle between striking miners and officers at the town’s coking plant. Contemporary media reports portrayed the miners as aggressors rather than the police.

Evidence suggesting the miners were to blame for the violence is alleged to have been falsified – with the allegations echoing those of the Hillsborough disaster, which took place five years later in the same police force area.

A delegation from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) met the Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Tuesday to make the case for an inquiry into the events.

The Times newspaper says Ms Rudd will next month appoint a lawyer to review material regarding the episode.

The Home Secretary is said to be considering what precise format the inquiry will take.

Demands for such a probe have grown since the apparent success of the most recent inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster.

The Orgreave episode was one of the privotal episodes in the miner’s strike. It began with around 5,000 miners and supporters picketing the town’s coking plant after weeks of striking.

Accounts suggest mounted police charged the crowd in response to some missiles being thrown. Labour MP Tristram Hunt, a historian, has previously described the episode as “legalised state violence”.

In total 95 miners were charged with offences following the clashes, but their trial collapsed.

In 2012 South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC over allegations that officers colluded in writing court statements.

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