UNPUBLISHED documents held in police vaults relating to the Battle of Orgreave should be published, a Government committee has concluded.
The Home Affairs committee called on Wednesday for home secretary Amber Rudd and the The National Police Chiefs’ Council to NPCC to review whether key files on Orgreave can now be made public.
Nineteen police forces were asked to search their archives for records relating to the 1984 confrontation between pickets and police and their responses were published this week by the committee.
All 19 police forces indicated that they did not hold information about Orgreave which is not already in the public domain.
But the NPCC, which took over from the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it had some relevant files which contained “personal sensitive information” relating to officers.
They are closed until 2066 under the provisions of the Data Protection Act but committee chair Yvette Cooper said the home secretary should look into whether they could be released, in redacted form if necessary.
Ms Cooper said: “People want to know the truth about what happened at Orgreave - especially in the coalfields.
“Little by little, our questions are uncovering what files and information are still held.
“Some of the intelligence files we have identified are being withheld until 2066.
“We have asked the home secretary to get those files independently reviewed to see if they can be released instead.
“This correspondence also confirms that most of the Orgreave files are still with South Yorkshire Police.
“That means the most important thing is for those files to be properly reviewed and made public, too.
“People in coalfield communities need to know what happened at Orgreave and deserve access to the truth.
“There must be no more secrets or cover-ups. That is why we keep pushing to get to the bottom of this.”
A response from the Metropolitan Police reveals the operational arrangements around its officers’ deployment to Orgeave, indicating that they “were deployed under the immediate direction and control of the hosting force receiving assistance” but said the force had no role of operational command, control or coordination in the policing of Orgreave.
A total of 95 pickets were charged with riot, unlawful assembly and similar offences after the battle outside the Orgreave coking plant on June 18, 1984, but their trials collapsed and all charges were dropped.
No police officer was ever disciplined for misconduct.
Despite a campaign by the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, Ms Rudd said last October that she would not order an inquiry into the incident.
We want to continue holding local authorities to account, attending court and council meetings, as well as providing breaking news, competitions and offers – but it costs money. Online advertising does not cover costs, therefore we feel the need to ask for your help in ensuring we can provide the best possible coverage, online and in our printed products.
For as little as £1, you can support the Rotherham Advertiser – and it only takes a minute.
Click here to support local news.