Police Chief Would Welcome Independent Assessment of Orgreave

A police chief has said he would welcome an independent assessment of the so-called "Battle of Orgreave'' 32 years ago.

Interim Chief Constable for South Yorkshire Police Dave Jones said the Hillsborough inquests have "brought into sharp focus the need to understand and confront the past''.

Calls have been mounting for an inquiry into the events at the Orgreave coking plant during the 1984 miners' strike.

Earlier this week the Yorkshire Post said it has seen redacted sections of an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report, which the paper said reveals that the same senior officers and solicitor were involved both in the aftermath of Orgreave and the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

In a statement Mr Jones said: "The Hillsborough inquests have brought into sharp focus the need to understand and confront the past and give people the opportunity to explore the circumstances of such significant events.

"I would therefore welcome an appropriate independent assessment of Orgreave accepting that the way in which this is delivered is a matter for the Home Secretary.''

Critics of the police action at Orgreave have called on Mr Jones to open up the force's archives.

Earlier this week the IPCC said it is considering whether an unredacted version of the report can now be made public.

Last year the watchdog said the passage of time prevented a formal investigation into the police's handling of events at Orgreave.

Thousands of strikers and police officers clashed at the plant near Rotherham in June 1984 in disturbances that came to symbolise the strike.

A total of 95 miners were charged following the disturbances but their trial collapsed.

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