July 1: Does the evidence of Orgreave reveal a police conspiracy?

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From: Chris Skidmore, NUM Yorkshire, Miners’ Offices, Huddersfield Road, Barnsley.

WHILE I will always agree that people are entitled to their opinion, I’m not sure that Hilary Andrews (The Yorkshire Post, June 23) can allude that she and William Snowden are representative of “stating the views of most people about the Miners’ Strike and the police response to it”.

She is entitled to her own view however misguided and ignorant of material facts. However if it goes to print, she is also open to criticism. I was there on June 18, 1984, she wasn’t.

A former serving police officer at Orgreave has given evidence to the IPCC that he and his colleagues were advised what to write in their statements, collusion was rife with the highest ranking so-called representatives in the Government being implicated, facts ignored by Ms Andrews.

This is borne out by the 
release of some of the documents under the “30 year rule” – none more so than the then Prime Minister who also lied on numerous occasions to Parliament and in the media.

Obviously it would be unfair for me to “cherry pick” the IPCC findings, however even she must agree that misconduct in public office, perjury in court and conspiracy to commit this offence, perjury by claiming to be the arresting officer when this was not true, perverting the course of justice or attempting to, are hardly issues to “brush under the carpet” and give public faith and confidence in the police or the judicial system.

That senior officers were aware of this is not beyond 
doubt or that the ethical standards of officers is brought into question.

Copies of the police statements from Orgreave are available for scrutiny in the Miners’ Offices or via the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

From: R Webb, Wakefield.

RECENT letters regarding the “thin blue line” (are they still called that, or is it the “ever-increasing waistline”? – with regard to their lack of fitness, as recently reported in this newspaper).

Is this the same police force that “acted like thugs at Orgreave”? Not my words, but a police officer who was present at Orgreave.

They also falsified evidence, so committing mass perjury. Any inquiry should be paid for by the police.

A common theme runs through the above, a police force more concerned with looking after “their own” than giving truth and justice to the public.