Rotherham councillors seek police apology for Orgreave

Police lines at Orgreave
Police lines at Orgreave

Rotherham councillors have called on South Yorkshire Police to apologise for ‘misconduct’ relating to the Battle of Orgreave.

A motion was passed at a full meeting of Rotherham Council yesterday asking for both for the apology and calling on an independent public inquiry into the events of 31 years ago to be ordered by the Government.

It follows the Independent Police Complaints Commission saying it could not investigate the matter.

Labour councillor Emma Wallis, who proposed the motion, said: “The IPCC decision not to launch a full inquiry is nothing short of a scandal. Their own scoping exercise found evidence that some officers had used force, some officers had committed perjury and some officers had perverted the course of justice. It is the public interest to know not just the full truth about what happened but who made it happen and why.”

The motion was largely met with support by other councillors during a short debate, but deputy mayor and Conservative councillor Chris Middleton said he was concerned about the potential cost of a full inquiry.

He said: “The chances of justice are virtually nil.”

Ninety-five miners were arrested at the 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 due to unreliable evidence provided by police.