I WAS involved in the Miners’ Strike as a young operational police officer on picket lines both in County Durham and elsewhere I witnessed incidents where young pickets (who were not always miners but sometimes just individuals who turned up to cause trouble) were responsible for attacks on police officers and were subsequently convicted.

In fairness, the great majority of pickets, particularly older men, behaved responsibly.

I accept that certain police officers did aggravate situations at times.

I would not generally include local officers in this as they tended to show restraint to miners in communities where they patrolled on a daily basis.

A number of officers had relations who were pickets, including myself, and were therefore not unsympathetic to their plight.

Police behaviour of the sort highlighted by your correspondents (HAS, Apr 27) tended to happen when officers worked outside of their force area. In particular young officers from the Metropolitan Police were badly supervised and gung ho.

The notion however that police were politically motivated, and saw their role as somehow supporting Mrs Thatcher, is without any foundation.

Her name was never mentioned, either formally through briefings or otherwise.

We were just there to do a job to the best of our ability.

John Crick, Bishop Auckland.

MY Grandfather and Uncle George spent their working lives at Kibblesworth Colliery, near Birtley, and I spent many happy days with my aunt and uncle during the school holidays.

I was born in West Hartlepool and have always considered myself to be a Durham lad.

In 1963, I joined the police and in 1984 was involved in policing the Miners’ Strike in Durham, Northumberland and Nottingham where the miners continued to work.

In my view the miners were never the “enemy within”.

They were frightened they would lose their livelihood and would not be able to care for their families. I did my duty to feed and clothe my family.

There was excessive violence on both sides and things happened that shouldn’t have.

I was bitterly disappointed when some miners celebrated the death of Margaret Thatcher.

I know the vast majority of miners are better than that.

Please don’t carry this hatred into the lives of your children and grandchildren. They will adapt and use other skills to make their way in life.

My uncle George died of pneumoconiosis. As for me, after the strike I felt as though I had been used – and still do.

Bob McNeal, Middlesbrough.

AFTER all this time, the Miners’ Strike remains a lively topic of discussion (HAS, Apr 27).

To many people, Margaret Thatcher remains a lightning conductor for strong feelings and a sense of injustice.

In the decade before the Miners’ Strike, the country suffered a great deal of industrial strife.

The Labour Party came into being because unions thought that it would be an effective political arm, but it was never united in its original aim to support working people.

It was no better than the Labour Representative Committee, which was an arm of the then Liberal Party at the beginning of the 20th Century.

I don’t condone the actions of Margaret Thatcher and her party, but I think it is total stupidity to expect the Labour Party, as it is presently constituted, to create a bright future for workers their families and their communities.

G Bulmer, Billingham.