Inquiry into Orgreave clashes ruled out

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has rejected calls for a statutory inquiry or independent review into the clash between police and miners at Orgreave.

Mounted riot police at the miners' demonstration at Orgreave colliery, Yorkshire. Picture: Getty Images

Ms Rudd said she made the “difficult decision” because “ultimately there were no deaths or wrongful convictions” resulting from the violent encounter in 1984.

She acknowledged her decision would be a “significant disappointment” to the Orgreave Truth And Justice Campaign, which was calling for a full public inquiry into South Yorkshire Police’s conduct during the clashes.

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Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: “It is a grave injustice that there will be no statutory inquiry into the battle of Orgreave.”

Ms Rudd stressed that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is working with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to determine whether material related to the policing at Orgreave is relevant to the criminal investigations following the Hillsborough inquests.

She also highlighted “very significant changes” in the oversight of policing since Orgreave, including “major reforms” to criminal procedure, changes in public order policing, stronger external scrutiny and more local accountability.

These changes, including the creation of the CPS, the IPCC, and the introduction of elected police and crime commissioners, mean the policing landscape has “fundamentally changed” since 1984.

“There would therefore be very few lessons for the policing system today to be learned from any review of the events and practices of three decades ago,” Ms Rudd said.

“This is a very important consideration when looking at the necessity for an inquiry or independent review and the public interest to be derived from holding one.

“Taking these considerations into account, I do not believe that establishing any kind of inquiry is required to allay public concerns or for any other reason.

“I believe that we should focus on continuing to ensure that the policing system is the best it can be for the future, including through reforms before Parliament in the Policing and Crime Bill, so that we can have the best possible policing both in South Yorkshire and across the country.”