Open up the Orgreave archives urges Northumbria’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC

Vera Baird has today urged the interim Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police to open up the archives on Orgreave, to show what really happened and to give Miners and their families the answers they deserve.

Today, it has been reported that senior police officers and a solicitor who were involved in the South Yorkshire Police response to Hillsborough were also involved with Orgreave.

Peter Metcalf was involved in defending the force against unlawful arrest claims after the 1984 Orgreave clash. He also played a key role in reviewing statements after Hillsborough. Deputy Chief Constable Peter Hayes and Assistant Chief Constable Walter Jackson are connected to both cases. The officers were also involved in a review of the evidence after Orgreave and had links to Hillsborough.

Vera Baird said “There are clear and sinister policing operational similarities between both events and the fact that the same officers were involved causes grave concern.

The Hillsborough inquiry gave families justice, now the miners deserve the right to have what happened at Orgreave fully investigated”

Mrs Baird has called upon the interim Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police to open up the forces archives to the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and to urge the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to put in place a structure to ensure an honest, open and transparent investigation.

Commissioner Baird added “The interim Chief Constable can help secure an investigation in to Orgreave by opening up the forces files and showing that South Yorkshire Police respect the miners and their families by giving them the answers that they deserve.  I defended miners involved in Orgreave and I stand ready to give evidence to the inquiry.”