Orgreave campaigners still in the dark over police watchdog’s inquiry decision

SENIOR officials from a police watchdog have made their decision on whether there will be a full investigation into the 1984 ‘Battle of Orgreave’ but are yet to reveal what their ruling is.

Miners Strike 1984 Orgreave Coking Plant Police with riot gear move pickets - 18 June 1984

Campaigners have been waiting more than two years for a decision from the Independent Police Complaints Commission and are still in the dark about whether a Hillsborough-style probe will take place.

Lawyers for the IPCC are now checking over details of the ruling before it is made public.

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Campaigners say a report on the decision is being checked so it does not prejudice the ongoing Hillsborough inquests, which also involve South Yorkshire Police officers from the same era.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: “The IPCC has completed the assessment of matters arising from the policing of events at Orgreave in 1984 and made our decision on whether there should be an investigation.

“We must now seek legal advice about the publication of that decision before we can proceed further.”

The IPCC said before Christmas, prior to reaching a decision, that it hoped to make a public announcement early in the New Year.

In the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ 95 miners were arrested at Orgreave coking plant on June 18, 1984, after clashes with police during the national Miners’ Strike.

When the cases came to court, all were abandoned when it became clear that evidence provided by police was unreliable.

Later, South Yorkshire Police paid £425,000 in compensation to 39 pickets in out-of-court settlements.

Barbara Jackson, secretary of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, said she was informed last week that a decision had been made but does not know what it is.

“We have pleased they have made a decision but we have no idea what that decision is,” she told a Sheffield newspaper.

“Hopefully it is the one we want.”