Calls for inquiry into miners' strike policing

CALLS for an inquiry into the policing of the 1980s miners’ strike grew last night, after North-East MPs and union leaders added their voices to a campaign for justice within coalfield communities.

Activists are demanding a fresh investigation into the conduct of police officers on the picket lines of pits across the country.

A coalition of unions, campaigners and lawyers want to erase the criminal records of the estimated 7,000 men detained and "falsely charged" during the bitter unrest of 1984-85.

But, in the wake of damning reports into the behaviour of police during the Hillsborough disaster, calls have also been made to review the way the carried out their duties on the front line amid allegations of police brutality.

David Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners Association, said: “We would like to think we could resurrect some of the cases and have them re-examined to see if they can do anything. It was a long time ago but there is still a lot of bitterness about what the police got away with and the way they were used as an arm of the state.

“They were prepared to send people to jail for long sentences who were innocent.”

Last week, Easington MP Grahame Morris co-signed an early day motion tabled by Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, asking for the Director of Public Prosecutions to deliver "a full comprehensive inquiry into the policing of the miners' strike throughout the UK to ensure miners, their families and communities finally receive the justice they deserve". It comes in the wake of a BBC documentary about the 1984 clash between police and pickets at Orgreave, the British Steel coking plant in South Yorkshire where 95 miners were charged with riot and unlawful assembly, but acquitted a year later.

The South Yorkshire force referred itself to the policing watchdog over the Battle of Orgreave and the Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed it is looking at allegations of assault, perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said that the CPS had yet to be contacted by the IPCC in relation to Orgreave.

He said: “We would then, of course, work closely with them and advise them during that process.”

MPs said an inquiry should be widened to hold other forces to account for what happened in the North-East as well.

Mr Morris said: “There should be another look at what has happened and an amnesty for people who have carried false conviction for over 25 years. It has been a stain on their characters and in many cases has prevented them from getting gainful employment. It is also a huge stain on the police’s history.”

The NUM said around sixty per cent of the 11,000 miners arrested during the strike were held on ‘bogus’ grounds.

Michael Mansfield QC, who also acts for the Hillsborough Family Support Group, is currently reviewing evidence of police assaults against miners, and campaigners.

Calls for a far-reaching inquiry have been echoed by North Durham MP Kevan Jones, who said: “In some cases law abiding people have gained criminal records, which have stopped them getting jobs, and reputations have been damaged by this.

“There was a culture at the time to vilify those who were on strike and now is the time to have look at these cases again, especially if police evidence was falsified.”

 

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:46am Mon 3 Dec 12

GeordieB says...

What a waste of money!

How many generations is it now since the pits closed? 28 years later the police involved are probably retired and it's likely the senior officers who made the decisions are no longer with us.

If you want to investigate anything, what about the corruption that is going on today?
What a waste of money! How many generations is it now since the pits closed? 28 years later the police involved are probably retired and it's likely the senior officers who made the decisions are no longer with us. If you want to investigate anything, what about the corruption that is going on today? GeordieB
  • Score: 0

10:56am Mon 3 Dec 12

Daza says...

They probably want more compensation, to go along with white finger etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
They probably want more compensation, to go along with white finger etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Daza
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Mon 3 Dec 12

loonyleft says...

Thatchers boot boys need bringing to justice just like those at hillsborough,not evey body is motivated by money like you two.
Thatchers boot boys need bringing to justice just like those at hillsborough,not evey body is motivated by money like you two. loonyleft
  • Score: 0

10:58pm Mon 3 Dec 12

tomtopper says...

loonyleft wrote:
Thatchers boot boys need bringing to justice just like those at hillsborough,not evey body is motivated by money like you two.
They harp on about how badly done by they are/were, but, as someone born and bred in a pit village, I've yet to see a poor miner from the 80's coalfields (a far cry from the previous generations) ...

They got a redundancy big enough to buy two houses at the time, white finger, bad knees, etc etc etc.. They got a **** sight more than, say, someone put out of work from one of the outside trades relying on the pit....

I wonder if scargills boot boys will be brought to justice...I wonder if Lavery and Morris want to see some justice for all the abuse 'scabs' recieved and still do..? You know, like the guys in the taxi who were fortunate enough not to be killed (sadly not the case for the driver) when a concrete slab was dropped on it... All in fairness you understand..
[quote][p][bold]loonyleft[/bold] wrote: Thatchers boot boys need bringing to justice just like those at hillsborough,not evey body is motivated by money like you two.[/p][/quote]They harp on about how badly done by they are/were, but, as someone born and bred in a pit village, I've yet to see a poor miner from the 80's coalfields (a far cry from the previous generations) ... They got a redundancy big enough to buy two houses at the time, white finger, bad knees, etc etc etc.. They got a **** sight more than, say, someone put out of work from one of the outside trades relying on the pit.... I wonder if scargills boot boys will be brought to justice...I wonder if Lavery and Morris want to see some justice for all the abuse 'scabs' recieved and still do..? You know, like the guys in the taxi who were fortunate enough not to be killed (sadly not the case for the driver) when a concrete slab was dropped on it... All in fairness you understand.. tomtopper
  • Score: 0

11:14pm Mon 3 Dec 12

Daza says...

I lived in a Pit Village

My family were all miners

All the miners were well looked after financially

Show me a miner now who still supports Scargill!
I lived in a Pit Village My family were all miners All the miners were well looked after financially Show me a miner now who still supports Scargill! Daza
  • Score: 0

11:34am Tue 4 Dec 12

backworth1 says...

Rememebr the Poice didnt kill anyone during the strike. Also remember the taxi driver who was killed doing his job and who dropped the item on his taxi. I was there during the miners strike and saw what went on. I saw the Police waving £20 notes at the miners. I left the mining industry in 1990 and when i went to the NUM to try and get help with my redundancy i was refused help why?
Was it due to me bing on strike for 12 months?
Was it because i had been loyal to the NUM?
No it was because i was joining the Police!!!!.

I am proud of my mining history, but they need to be careful what if they decide to re investigate all the VWF, KNEE, CHEST DEAFNESS Claims, how comfortable will they be? I know of lots of people who were compensated for these matters who didnt even work underground.
Rememebr the Poice didnt kill anyone during the strike. Also remember the taxi driver who was killed doing his job and who dropped the item on his taxi. I was there during the miners strike and saw what went on. I saw the Police waving £20 notes at the miners. I left the mining industry in 1990 and when i went to the NUM to try and get help with my redundancy i was refused help why? Was it due to me bing on strike for 12 months? Was it because i had been loyal to the NUM? No it was because i was joining the Police!!!!. I am proud of my mining history, but they need to be careful what if they decide to re investigate all the VWF, KNEE, CHEST DEAFNESS Claims, how comfortable will they be? I know of lots of people who were compensated for these matters who didnt even work underground. backworth1
  • Score: 0

11:37am Tue 4 Dec 12

backworth1 says...

tomtopper wrote:
loonyleft wrote: Thatchers boot boys need bringing to justice just like those at hillsborough,not evey body is motivated by money like you two.
They harp on about how badly done by they are/were, but, as someone born and bred in a pit village, I've yet to see a poor miner from the 80's coalfields (a far cry from the previous generations) ... They got a redundancy big enough to buy two houses at the time, white finger, bad knees, etc etc etc.. They got a **** sight more than, say, someone put out of work from one of the outside trades relying on the pit.... I wonder if scargills boot boys will be brought to justice...I wonder if Lavery and Morris want to see some justice for all the abuse 'scabs' recieved and still do..? You know, like the guys in the taxi who were fortunate enough not to be killed (sadly not the case for the driver) when a concrete slab was dropped on it... All in fairness you understand..
fully agree Lavery and his cronies have done alright from themselves he has and always will have a dislike fo the police, worked with him at ELLINGTON he is just a gob*****
[quote][p][bold]tomtopper[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loonyleft[/bold] wrote: Thatchers boot boys need bringing to justice just like those at hillsborough,not evey body is motivated by money like you two.[/p][/quote]They harp on about how badly done by they are/were, but, as someone born and bred in a pit village, I've yet to see a poor miner from the 80's coalfields (a far cry from the previous generations) ... They got a redundancy big enough to buy two houses at the time, white finger, bad knees, etc etc etc.. They got a **** sight more than, say, someone put out of work from one of the outside trades relying on the pit.... I wonder if scargills boot boys will be brought to justice...I wonder if Lavery and Morris want to see some justice for all the abuse 'scabs' recieved and still do..? You know, like the guys in the taxi who were fortunate enough not to be killed (sadly not the case for the driver) when a concrete slab was dropped on it... All in fairness you understand..[/p][/quote]fully agree Lavery and his cronies have done alright from themselves he has and always will have a dislike fo the police, worked with him at ELLINGTON he is just a gob***** backworth1
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Dean M says...

Daza's blue-tinted glasses are making him miss the point again.

11,000 miners arrested during the strike, 7,000 miners detained and falsely charged. 95 miners wrongly charged in one go with 'riot' and 'unlawful assembly'. God knows how many miners on the receiving end of police truncheons.

How many police have been charged for brutality during the strike? None?

But the police have no case to answer, because the miners received redundancy payments?

What's Britain coming to, eh Daza, if the state police are not allowed to arrest and/or beat up striking workers whenever they want, especially when those workers are in line for a redundancy payment. Surely being in line for a pay out should mean the state police can kill you if they want?

It's a completely separate issue. The police should be investigated and prosecuted, if evidence of brutality or abuse of power is found.
Daza's blue-tinted glasses are making him miss the point again. 11,000 miners arrested during the strike, 7,000 miners detained and falsely charged. 95 miners wrongly charged in one go with 'riot' and 'unlawful assembly'. God knows how many miners on the receiving end of police truncheons. How many police have been charged for brutality during the strike? None? But the police have no case to answer, because the miners received redundancy payments? What's Britain coming to, eh Daza, if the state police are not allowed to arrest and/or beat up striking workers whenever they want, especially when those workers are in line for a redundancy payment. Surely being in line for a pay out should mean the state police can kill you if they want? It's a completely separate issue. The police should be investigated and prosecuted, if evidence of brutality or abuse of power is found. Dean M
  • Score: 0

11:21am Wed 5 Dec 12

loonyleft says...

Tomtopper, The miners were trying to save their jobs ,but it was easier for Thatcher to destroy their jobs than support them,and the police made a lot of cash out of putting down the miners protests.Some of the same officers were at hillsborough,is that the right wing answer for evey problem ,put people down if they become a problem?
Tomtopper, The miners were trying to save their jobs ,but it was easier for Thatcher to destroy their jobs than support them,and the police made a lot of cash out of putting down the miners protests.Some of the same officers were at hillsborough,is that the right wing answer for evey problem ,put people down if they become a problem? loonyleft
  • Score: 0

12:02am Thu 6 Dec 12

tomtopper says...

loonyleft wrote:
Tomtopper, The miners were trying to save their jobs ,but it was easier for Thatcher to destroy their jobs than support them,and the police made a lot of cash out of putting down the miners protests.Some of the same officers were at hillsborough,is that the right wing answer for evey problem ,put people down if they become a problem?
It's the left wing answer..Called Socialism

To reiterate, They got enough money to buy two houses.. Not bad for an industry that was inevitably doomed anyway...

And what about the miners persecuted by other miners?
And why didn't Lavery or the Labour party do anything about this when they were in power?? 13yrs remember..

Where do these so called 'historic cases' stop? We'll be prosecuting Dixon of dock green next, for giving someone a clip round the ear..Ridiculous and sounds like the miners have run out of ailments to claim for , so now it's the police..
[quote][p][bold]loonyleft[/bold] wrote: Tomtopper, The miners were trying to save their jobs ,but it was easier for Thatcher to destroy their jobs than support them,and the police made a lot of cash out of putting down the miners protests.Some of the same officers were at hillsborough,is that the right wing answer for evey problem ,put people down if they become a problem?[/p][/quote]It's the left wing answer..Called Socialism To reiterate, They got enough money to buy two houses.. Not bad for an industry that was inevitably doomed anyway... And what about the miners persecuted by other miners? And why didn't Lavery or the Labour party do anything about this when they were in power?? 13yrs remember.. Where do these so called 'historic cases' stop? We'll be prosecuting Dixon of dock green next, for giving someone a clip round the ear..Ridiculous and sounds like the miners have run out of ailments to claim for , so now it's the police.. tomtopper
  • Score: 0

8:22am Thu 6 Dec 12

backworth1 says...

Tom Topper

Fully agree with your comments, wonder if it would be worth asking what ailments Lavery claimed for?
Tom Topper Fully agree with your comments, wonder if it would be worth asking what ailments Lavery claimed for? backworth1
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree