The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has announced it will not mount a formal investigation into the policing of the so called "Battle of Orgreave" and its aftermath during the 1984-85 Miners Strike.
The IPCC's own initial investigation found evidence of police brutality, officers fabricating evidence and committing perjury. The IPCC's argument for not continuing the investigation — that its too long ago and they don’t have the resources to investigate Orgreave and the Miner's Strike whilst its conducting two other major investigations into South Yorkshire Police over Hillsborough and child sexual exploitation and grooming — is feeble.
Campaigners from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign are disgusted but not surprised at this decision from the IPCC. It has a woeful record of holding the police to account. Its under resourced, has very limited powers to demand evidence or call witnesses and much of its staff are ex police.
The “Battle of Orgreave” on the 18 of June 1984 was just the most spectacular set piece of the Miners Strike which pitted the striking miners, their communities and their supporters against the entire might of the state. The police were the cutting edge of that assault unleashed on the miners.
8000 miners tried to picket the Orgreave coking plant, the similar number of police present launched a sustained violent assault on the miners, hundreds of whom were injured and arrested. 95 miners were charged but eventually acquitted of rioting when it became obvious the police witnesses had conspired to fabricate much of their accounts.
We should accept no time limit on exposing the truth about that strike and demanding justice. Inquiries into institutional child abuse and Bloody Sunday have been held after longer periods.
The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign have been campaigning over the last 3 years for a full independent judicial enquiry into all aspects of the strike including its policing. Support them in that fight!