We want a thorough and authoritative inquiry not a prolonged expensive exercise
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, Stephen Watson has been quoted in the Yorkshire Post this week as saying that his force will control the way its archives on the 1984/5 Miners’ Strike are released to the public because he does not want to “just empty stuff onto the street and let people pick at it”. However he also asserted that information about Orgreave was being “independently and professionally archived, catalogued and rendered into the position where it could be disclosed” at some point.
Kevin Horne a Miner arrested at Orgreave said:
“This is precisely what the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign want. We need a professional structured consideration of everything, we want it in context but we want it within our lifetime!”
OTJC Secretary Barbara Jackson said:
“The OTJC’s position throughout our campaign has been that we want a thorough and authoritative review and to be able to access everything relevant; but we do not want a prolonged expensive exercise. If the Chief Constable has not properly informed himself of this responsible, thoughtful actual request and its consideration of reasonable economic limitations then we hope he is not making public statements presuming that the very opposite is what has been envisaged or asked for”
Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s refusal to hold an Inquiry has completely and wilfully misunderstood and misrepresented the OTJC’s actual proposition. This statement by the Chief Constable gives an extra argument for the OTJC to show this piecemeal, uncoordinated, grudging release of data here there and everywhere cannot achieve what is actually needed. Ironically it undermines the Home Secretary’s response to the OTJC that the release of the Home Office files and the archived SYP data will allow everyone interested to inspect and make up their own minds.