The legal case for an independent inquiry

Theresa May Receives The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign Legal Submission.

On Tuesday 15 December 2015 the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) will hand in its legal submission to the Home Secretary Theresa May, asking her to consider either establishing an Independent Panel, similar to that established in 2009 to investigate the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, or a public inquiry.

This submission, with testimonials from miners and their wives and photographs from Orgreave on the day, will be handed in by Chris Peace and Mike McColgan on behalf of the OTJC.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) took over two-and-a-half years to conduct a scoping (initial investigation) exercise. Its report, on 12 June 2015, concluded that it did not have the resources to conduct a full-scale investigation into events at Orgreave coking works near Rotherham on 18 June 1984.

The IPCC’s report did however highlight that it had been unable to locate a series of important documents, including the police operational orders that were drawn up in advance of 18 June 1984. The IPCC report, which cited the historic nature of events as another reason why it was unwilling to conduct a further investigation – also detailed a cover up by senior South Yorkshire Police (SYP) of malpractice which they knew had taken place.

The IPCC report largely conceded that the organisation was unable to get to the truth of an event that resulted in 95 miners being arrested after thousands of police officers – many
in riot gear, with others on horseback, and police dogs – brutally assaulted miners participating in a year-long strike aimed at defending jobs and mining communities.

In many former mining communities there still remains, since 1984, a lack of trust in and fear of the police.

Barbara Jackson, secretary of the OTJC said, ‘“We had a productive meeting with the Home Secretary in July and now that we have completed our legal submission we are looking forward to presenting it to her with the belief that she will look at if fairly and objectively. We remain committed to justice over Orgreave.”

As part of the submission to Theresa May on 15 December 2015 a short film has been made on behalf of the OTJC. It can be viewed at: – https://vimeo.com/onetoonedevelopment/orgreavejustice