OTJC says the campaign for justice will continue

The Orgreave Justice fundraising CD

The Orgreave Justice fundraising CD

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign has said it is “disappointed” the IPCC will not investigate the 1984 incident during which mounted police charged striking miners.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission today announced it “could not pursue” a complaint into the incident due to the passage of time. More than 120 officers and pickets were injured when police officers on horseback rode into picket lines.

A statement from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign said: “Whilst disappointed, OTJC members are not surprised that the IPCC will not be conducting a full investigation into policing at Orgreave on 18 June 1984. It was back in November 2012 that South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC, which ever since has acted slowly and conducted little independent work in assembling and collating information.

“The fact that the IPCC, described rightly in our view by many prominent individuals as “not fit for purpose”, is stepping aside on Orgreave affairs will not therefore be deterring the OTJC from continuing its campaign. OTJC notes that the IPCC itself recognises in its report the limitations of what the organisation can do and that only a Hillsborough style public inquiry can eventually get to the truth.

“The OTJC continues to gather increasing support from organisations and individuals for a full public inquiry into why it was that on 18 June 1984, 95 miners were arrested at Orgreave after thousands of police officers – many in riot gear, with others on horseback – brutally assaulted miners participating in a strike aimed at defending jobs and mining communities.

“An inquiry will help reveal exactly why, when the subsequent court cases took place, all of the charges, including riot were abandoned. It must inevitably lead to two things. Some officers being charged with a series of offences: assault, perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office. Secondly, a paper trail that would indicate that the actions of the police at Orgreave were influenced by political pressure from within the highest ranks of the government of the day.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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