We expect decision on Orgreave probe in New Year, say protesters after London rally

Miners Strike 1984'Orgreave Coking Plant'Police with riot gear move pickets - 18 June 1984
Miners Strike 1984'Orgreave Coking Plant'Police with riot gear move pickets - 18 June 1984
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CAMPAIGNERS seeking justice over the 1984 Battle of Orgreave say they expect to hear in the New Year whether a watchdog will carry out a full investigation into the actions of South Yorkshire Police.

Members of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign today protested outside the London headquarters of the Independent Police Complaints Commission to mark the two years it has been carrying out a ‘scoping exercise’ on the issue.

During the clash at Orgreave in 1984, police officers were filmed beating picketing miners with truncheons.

South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the watchdog in November 2012 after a BBC documentary claimed officers may have colluded in writing court statements which saw 95 striking miners wrongly charged.

Since then IPCC officials have been going through thousands of documents to establish whether the case met the criteria for “exceptional circumstances” that would justify a full investigation into a historic matter.

Forty members of the campaign group protested in London today before meeting with IPCC officials, where they were told an internal draft report would be put together by Christmas. The watchdog’s lawyers will then look over the review, with a decision expected in the New Year.

Group secretary Barbara Jackson said campaigners were given no indication during the meeting about what the decision would be. She said: “We said we were trying to hold faith about the dates that were given because dates have been given already.”

An IPCC spokesman said thescoping exercise was “nearing conclusion” and a report “covering the large amount of work that has been done” was being drafted. He said: “Some outstanding documentation held by South Yorkshire Police’s solicitors is being chased.

“Once the scoping report is complete the final decision on whether there will be an IPCC investigation into the allegations will be made.

“We appreciate this scoping exercise has taken a long time. It has been incredibly complex, both in terms of the legal position, the historical nature of the events and allegations, and the recovery and consideration of a huge number of documents.”