22/10/2012 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


22/10/2012

Dan Johnson uncovers new evidence about the conduct of South Yorkshire police, following the acquittal of 95 miners charged with rioting at Orgreave during the miners' strike.


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Transcript


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Welcome to Inside Out. I am Toby Foster. I am at Orgreave, the scene

:00:13.:00:18.

of the bitter minor battle in 1984. There are two accounts of what

:00:18.:00:23.

happened that day, one from the miners and one from the police. We

:00:23.:00:26.

have got evidence that suggested the police doctor statements which

:00:26.:00:31.

could have led to the culture which five years later on would see the

:00:31.:00:41.
:00:41.:00:46.

In September the Hillsborough Independent Panel released its

:00:46.:00:52.

report into the stadium disaster of April 1989. It revealed a catalogue

:00:52.:00:54.

of accusations against South Yorkshire Police, the Ambulance

:00:54.:01:01.

Service, Sheffield Wednesday and many others. But of all its

:01:01.:01:03.

shocking findings, what stands out is the evidence that 116 police

:01:03.:01:06.

statements were changed in an attempt to put the blame for the

:01:06.:01:14.

disaster onto Liverpool supporters. The new evidence with which we are

:01:14.:01:17.

presented today makes it clear, in my view, that these families have

:01:17.:01:20.

suffered a double injustice. The injustice of the appalling events,

:01:20.:01:23.

the failure of the state to protect their loved ones and the

:01:23.:01:26.

indefensible wait to get to the truth, and then the injustice of

:01:26.:01:29.

the denigration of the deceased, that they were somehow at fault for

:01:29.:01:39.
:01:39.:01:40.

their own deaths. On the face of it there seems little connection

:01:40.:01:44.

between the miners' strike in the 1980s and what happened on the

:01:44.:01:47.

Leppings Lane that terrace but tonight we will reveal that

:01:47.:01:53.

Hillsborough, far from being an isolated event, was, in fact, part

:01:53.:01:56.

of a pattern of senior South Yorkshire officers manipulating the

:01:56.:02:00.

statements made by junior officers and while Hillsborough resonated

:02:00.:02:05.

around the world, what happened at Orgreave in June 1984 has been left

:02:05.:02:15.
:02:15.:02:19.

as a footnote in history. In the aftermath of Hillsborough

:02:19.:02:21.

South Yorkshire police systematically altered the witness

:02:21.:02:24.

statements of its own officers. Tonight we'll reveal how five years

:02:24.:02:26.

earlier the same force deliberately moulded statements so it could

:02:26.:02:29.

prosecute miners at Orgreave for riot, an offence that potentially

:02:29.:02:33.

carried a life sentence. They wanted to teach the miners a

:02:33.:02:36.

lesson, a big lesson, so that the miners wouldn't come out in force

:02:36.:02:38.

again. I was punched, kicked, prodded, you

:02:38.:02:43.

name it. I walked in, and I was nearly carried out.

:02:43.:02:47.

You can see in a way that they were trying merely to set the scenario,

:02:47.:02:50.

but actually what they were doing was teeing up, perverting the

:02:51.:02:55.

course of justice. I was a bit surprised when I came

:02:55.:02:58.

in and someone said we need to have this as a starting paragraph.

:02:58.:03:01.

However I'd never been involved in a situation where so many people

:03:01.:03:04.

were arrested. The violence and intimidation that

:03:04.:03:07.

we have seen should never have happened. It is the work of

:03:07.:03:14.

extremists. It is the enemy within. Oh, what a lovely summer.

:03:14.:03:18.

Oh, what a long, long strike. But if we have to go through it all

:03:18.:03:20.

again, We would still stand up and fight.

:03:20.:03:25.

Convoys of coal going from Orgreave. Men standing side by side.

:03:25.:03:30.

Women serving the soup for them, Watching lories of coal go by.

:03:30.:03:37.

Rows and rows of men in blue. Horses, dogs and truncheons too.

:03:37.:03:44.

Hitting miners, they didn't care who.

:03:44.:03:48.

It's not so long ago that Yorkshire was synonymous with mining. Before

:03:49.:03:54.

the 1984 strike, this region was dotted with 60 collieries. Each of

:03:54.:03:59.

them supporting a community and giving thousands of miners jobs.

:03:59.:04:04.

Coal kept the lights on and powered industry. But now only three

:04:04.:04:06.

underground pits remain in Yorkshire, like this one at

:04:06.:04:12.

Hatfield near Doncaster. The strike was the turning point

:04:12.:04:16.

for the industry. The miners, led by Arthur Scargill, believed that

:04:16.:04:20.

the government planned to shut down hundreds of pits. Faced with the

:04:20.:04:24.

loss of their jobs, most Yorkshire miners came out on strike. They

:04:24.:04:27.

hoped to choke the country's supply of energy and force Mrs Thatcher to

:04:27.:04:37.
:04:37.:04:43.

back down. No way. Move! crucially most Nottinghamshire

:04:43.:04:47.

miners kept working, believing their pits would be safe. The year-

:04:47.:04:49.

long dispute pitched miner against miner, and against the government.

:04:49.:04:52.

But they'd planned ahead. Power stations had stockpiled coal and

:04:52.:04:55.

tough union laws had made it harder for other workers to support the

:04:55.:04:57.

miners. Throughout the dispute, pickets and police clashed

:04:57.:05:00.

regularly. The most notorious flashpoint was at the Orgreave

:05:00.:05:06.

Coking Plant on the outskirts of Sheffield. The coke produced at

:05:06.:05:09.

Orgreave fuelled the British Steel mill in Scunthorpe. During the 1972

:05:09.:05:12.

miners' strike, the National Union of Mineworkers had famously shut

:05:12.:05:14.

the Saltley Coking plant in Birmingham by sending in flying

:05:14.:05:21.

pickets. Arthur thought what we should

:05:21.:05:28.

really do is to have one big pitched battle. Like the one he had

:05:28.:05:32.

at Saltley Gate. At Saltley Gate, we won.

:05:32.:05:35.

Saltley acted as the template for the picketing at Orgreave 12 years

:05:35.:05:40.

later. Only this time, the miners faced a police force and a

:05:40.:05:44.

government determined not to be beaten.

:05:44.:05:47.

Almost from the start of the strike in March 1984, there had been

:05:47.:05:52.

pickets at Orgreave. We shall be coming here until we

:05:52.:05:55.

stop them wagons. We want that plant shutting down. We want them

:05:55.:06:04.

stopping them wagons going in. Over the weeks tensions grew and

:06:04.:06:09.

things finally came to a head on June the 18th. That day up to

:06:09.:06:14.

10,000 pickets turned up. There to try and stop the miners shutting

:06:14.:06:16.

the plant were at least 5,000 policemen from many different

:06:16.:06:22.

forces across the country. The man in overall command that day, was

:06:22.:06:24.

the South Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Anthony

:06:24.:06:34.
:06:34.:06:34.

Clement. The miners' strike is 100 days old tomorrow and today brought

:06:34.:06:39.

the worst scenes of violence of the dispute.

:06:39.:06:44.

The violence lasted most of the day. By the end 93 miners had been

:06:44.:06:49.

arrested. The official police report said 51 pickets were injured

:06:49.:06:54.

along with 72 police officers. But, as with Hillsborough, two very

:06:54.:06:59.

different accounts of what happened emerged.

:06:59.:07:02.

We were like a phalanx of Roman legionnaires, lined across the

:07:02.:07:06.

field. Obviously the coke lorries were coming through, infuriating

:07:07.:07:13.

the pickets and so the level of missiles appeared to increase.

:07:13.:07:19.

Police horses were deployed. And then on the date in question, the

:07:19.:07:22.

decision was taken, we were taken from long shields and told we were

:07:22.:07:26.

to deploy as short shield snatch squads.

:07:26.:07:30.

It was like a military plan. And when miners arrived in June

:07:30.:07:34.

sunshine, bare chested. They'd been picketing there for weeks and weeks.

:07:34.:07:38.

They expected it to be kind of the same ritual. You arrive and the

:07:38.:07:41.

police are there in a great long line and we push against it and

:07:41.:07:45.

then it's sort of over with really. And lorries go into the coking

:07:45.:07:48.

works. There was an understanding and

:07:48.:07:51.

acceptance that protest was their lawful and legal right but these

:07:51.:07:54.

idiots who wanted to use the police as Aunt Sallys, the anonymity that

:07:54.:08:00.

their numbers gave them caused the problem.

:08:00.:08:03.

It started with the usual pushing and shoving and it was fairly much

:08:03.:08:06.

OK, but it started to escalate where one or two bricks and bottles

:08:06.:08:13.

came across. They had dogs on one side. They had

:08:13.:08:16.

police on horse-back in the field. It was like a medieval battlefield.

:08:16.:08:21.

The rows upon rows of great long shields. And up on the bridge and

:08:21.:08:25.

into the village, there were horses and cops across the road. So they

:08:25.:08:30.

were surrounded. And there were 10,000 miners. And there were a lot

:08:30.:08:35.

of police. And it was like, click. The decision came from Clements and

:08:35.:08:41.

off they went. Horses charged straight into the miners. They

:08:41.:08:46.

could have been trampled to death. The short shield units went in

:08:46.:08:56.
:08:56.:09:03.

afterwards. They grabbed people, So that charge by the horses,

:09:03.:09:06.

Norman, do you think that was justified by the level of violence

:09:06.:09:09.

that you were encountering? I was a bit surprised to see the horses.

:09:09.:09:13.

But quite pleased. Cos they'd stopped the bricks being thrown.

:09:13.:09:16.

You know if the horses are coming charging towards me, swinging them

:09:16.:09:20.

big night-sticks. You know, I might be built like Gandhi, but I'm not

:09:20.:09:23.

going to sit down in the road singing, we shall overcome, baby.

:09:23.:09:26.

I'll you that. So of course we launched bloody bricks at them to

:09:26.:09:32.

try to stop the charge. These days Michael Mansfield is one

:09:32.:09:34.

Britain's most famous defence barristers, specialising in

:09:34.:09:37.

miscarriages of justice. But in 1984 he was only starting to make a

:09:37.:09:40.

name for himself when he represented several miners in the

:09:40.:09:44.

first trial which took place in Sheffield in 1985.

:09:44.:09:47.

The video footage the police themselves took showed a completely

:09:47.:09:51.

different story. Not the one the BBC put out, but the police footage

:09:51.:09:54.

was quite different. There were a lot of independent monitors, some

:09:54.:09:57.

with notebooks, some with cameras and one with a movie camera stuck

:09:57.:10:06.

up in a tree. The police had no idea to which the extent of what

:10:06.:10:12.

they were doing, their unlawful activities were being filmed. So if

:10:12.:10:15.

you put the combination of that package together, you had a record,

:10:15.:10:17.

a really almost unchallengeable record of a completely different

:10:17.:10:26.

version of events. The police account reported at the

:10:26.:10:28.

time was that miners had massed together and launched a violent

:10:28.:10:33.

assault on the Police. South Yorkshire police claimed there'd

:10:33.:10:36.

been no choice but to send in mounted policemen and snatch squads

:10:36.:10:43.

with short shields in order to regain control.

:10:43.:10:46.

A lot of miners think that there was a concerted attempt at Orgreave

:10:46.:10:50.

to send them a message that they weren't going to win. Did you see

:10:50.:10:53.

evidence of that? Yeah, I would say so. The comment, we weren't going

:10:53.:10:56.

to lose, was upper most in a lot of our minds. Coming from Birmingham,

:10:56.:10:58.

the previous miners' strike in Birmingham, Saltley Gate,

:10:58.:11:03.

effectively the pickets had won by pushing through the police lines.

:11:03.:11:06.

And I wasn't there, I don't think many of the officers I knew were

:11:06.:11:09.

there because it happened in a previous decade, but it was

:11:09.:11:13.

something for us professionally, we weren't going to lose.

:11:13.:11:16.

The miners' maintained that they'd been peacefully picketing and it

:11:16.:11:20.

was the police who'd attacked them. The video evidence produced in

:11:20.:11:30.
:11:30.:11:38.

court contradicted the police So it had two stages. Get em all in

:11:38.:11:41.

a field and charge and generally batter them and hopefully they'll

:11:41.:11:43.

retreat, which they did. Up the field, down a railway embankment,

:11:43.:11:45.

huge injuries. Stef Wysocki was a striking miner

:11:45.:11:48.

from the Derbyshire coalfield. He went to Orgreave that day to picket.

:11:48.:11:52.

It were a nice hot summer's day. We were all there in T-shirts. They

:11:52.:11:55.

were in full riot gear. They knew what were going off. We didn't. I

:11:55.:11:59.

just stood there with my hands in my pockets. I hadn't done anything

:11:59.:12:02.

wrong. I was just watching what was going off. It was all new to me.

:12:02.:12:06.

I'd never seen anything like this before. I just stood there and next

:12:06.:12:09.

minute I seen all these policemen running up field and I looked round

:12:09.:12:12.

to see who they were running for. And there were only me there left,

:12:12.:12:17.

so obviously they were after me. REPORTER: So when they got to you,

:12:18.:12:21.

did you put any resistance up? whatsoever. None whatsoever.

:12:21.:12:26.

REPORTER: So when they arrested you, what did you expect to happen?

:12:26.:12:30.

I hadn't done anything. So I didn't think I would get charged.

:12:30.:12:33.

Obviously there were a lot of cameras there. And when it got to

:12:33.:12:36.

court there, they got all the photos of me being arrested at the

:12:36.:12:40.

top of the hill with no injuries. And when we got to the bottom of

:12:40.:12:44.

the hill, I'd got injuries and I were in their custody.

:12:44.:12:51.

REPORTER: What sort of injuries? Bruises, facial cuts. Bleeding.

:12:51.:12:55.

REPORTER: So you got a bit of a kicking then?

:12:55.:13:01.

Oh I got a very big kicking. One of things we done was we protected the

:13:01.:13:03.

arrested person as we went through police lines.

:13:03.:13:06.

Because I have to say some of my colleagues, or not colleagues,

:13:06.:13:08.

individuals from other forces weren't above trying to land a

:13:08.:13:11.

smack on the head of an individual coming through. I wasn't happy

:13:11.:13:16.

about that. My prisoner, he gets to the holding centre in the state in

:13:16.:13:20.

which he was arrested. I didn't want someone who was injured who

:13:20.:13:24.

would then make allegations against me. I said, "what are you arresting

:13:24.:13:27.

me for"? He said, "throwing stones at a policeman". I said, "look at

:13:27.:13:30.

my hands. I haven't thrown anything". He said, "they all say

:13:30.:13:35.

that". So then I was marched down the field, both arms up my back.

:13:35.:13:41.

Got to the police line. I was banged onto police shields. They

:13:41.:13:46.

bounced me off. The shields opened and I was punched, kicked, prodded,

:13:46.:13:55.

you name it. I walked in, and I was nearly carried out. Stage two, we

:13:55.:13:58.

have to have a recording process, that's the statement process done

:13:58.:14:04.

by another unit. And unfortunately they were caught out once again

:14:04.:14:07.

because some of the officers who claimed to have arrested certain

:14:07.:14:09.

individuals plainly didn't, because they're not in the photographs

:14:09.:14:13.

accompanying the miners. So basically the second stage process,

:14:13.:14:16.

the investigation and recording of what happened on the field at

:14:16.:14:26.
:14:26.:14:27.

Orgreave was a contrivance. Another barrister who defended the miners

:14:27.:14:32.

in the Orgreave Trial was Vera Baird.

:14:32.:14:34.

Officers signed statements saying they'd seen A, they'd seen B,

:14:34.:14:39.

they'd seen D. Important symptoms of disorder. But actually we got

:14:39.:14:42.

the log books of the vehicles and many of them hadn't even left home

:14:42.:14:45.

by the time those things had happened and been taken away. So,

:14:45.:14:49.

it was a clear plan to make this escalation of the gravity of the

:14:49.:14:58.

charges really work. I think the allegation was that we

:14:58.:15:03.

had statements dictated to us or something similar. I was not

:15:03.:15:07.

dictated to with regards to the statement. But some of the

:15:07.:15:09.

statements in public order situations can seem formulaic. So

:15:10.:15:13.

where officers, or in my statement it talks about "I was frightened, I

:15:13.:15:17.

was apprehensive". Those were forms of words you used because in terms

:15:17.:15:20.

of the public order act, or it was actually common law then, those

:15:20.:15:24.

were the things you expressed. Hillsborough Independent Panel

:15:25.:15:27.

report accused South Yorkshire Police in 1989 of making a

:15:27.:15:37.
:15:37.:15:40.

concerted effort to remove damaging references from officers. The panel

:15:40.:15:46.

found 116 statement had been altered. The police narrative was

:15:47.:15:49.

that Liverpool fans were drunk and ticketless. Some officers even

:15:49.:15:52.

falsely claimed to the press that supporters had stolen from the dead

:15:52.:15:55.

and urinated on people while police officers attempted to save lives.

:15:55.:15:57.

In the case of Orgreave five years earlier, the manipulation of

:15:58.:16:00.

statements appears to be even more organised than at Hillsborough. In

:16:00.:16:03.

1985, the first 15 miners charged with riot were tried here at the

:16:04.:16:08.

old Sheffield Crown Court. But the trial collapsed in spectacular

:16:08.:16:18.
:16:18.:16:22.

style when it became clear the police evidence wasn't reliable.

:16:22.:16:24.

One officer, PC Stephen Hill, admitted under cross examination

:16:24.:16:27.

that much of his statement had been narrated to him. PC Hill's version

:16:27.:16:30.

of events tallies with Inspector Norman Taylor's recollection of

:16:30.:16:34.

what happened when he was asked to write up his statement. It was like

:16:34.:16:39.

a big room. And people were in different parts of the room. I

:16:39.:16:42.

recall this policeman in plain clothes mentioning that he'd had a

:16:42.:16:46.

good idea of what had happened. And we were from different police

:16:46.:16:52.

forces. And that there was a preamble to set the scene. And he

:16:52.:16:56.

was reading from some paper, a paragraph or so. And he asked the

:16:56.:16:59.

people who were there to use that as their starting paragraph. So you

:16:59.:17:03.

copied down what they told you to write? So that paragraph, I think

:17:03.:17:06.

it was basically the time and date, the name of the place. There were

:17:06.:17:10.

guys from the Met who hadn't a clue where South Yorkshire was. In fact,

:17:10.:17:13.

it was more than just one paragraph. The arresting officers may have

:17:13.:17:15.

thought that they were simply describing the scene at Orgreave.

:17:15.:17:18.

But why did senior South Yorkshire detectives have to dictate a form

:17:18.:17:22.

of wording for the officers to use? It seems clear the fact that the

:17:22.:17:24.

exact same phrases appeared in dozens of police witness statements

:17:24.:17:28.

was no coincidence. To take just one example, 31 officers from four

:17:28.:17:38.
:17:38.:17:46.

We've obtained copies of around 100 police witness statements after

:17:46.:17:50.

Orgreave. And what you see in those statements is fascinating.

:17:50.:17:52.

Statement after statement from officer after officer, the same

:17:52.:17:58.

phrases appear over and over again. So was it the intention from the

:17:58.:18:04.

start to build an exaggerated case of riot against the pickets. And

:18:04.:18:08.

that charge of riot matters. The common law offence of Riot dates

:18:08.:18:11.

back to the medieval period. Prior to its use in the Orgreave trials,

:18:11.:18:14.

nobody in England and Wales had been accused of riot for more than

:18:14.:18:18.

60 years. But why did South Yorkshire police choose to it?

:18:18.:18:21.

Whereas a picket convicted of a public order offence such as

:18:21.:18:24.

throwing a stone might get a fine, pickets convicted of riot were

:18:24.:18:32.

faced potentially life in prison. Ian Hernon was a political reporter

:18:32.:18:36.

in the 1980s and went on the write about the history of the Riot Act.

:18:36.:18:42.

It was a very blunt instrument to suppress civil discontent. It

:18:42.:18:45.

wasn't used very often. Most famously it was used in the

:18:45.:18:48.

Peterloo massacre in Manchester as a way of allowing the militia and

:18:48.:18:56.

the cavalry to kill civilians. It wasn't used very much after that.

:18:56.:19:00.

In fact the last time that we know for sure that it was used was

:19:00.:19:09.

during the 1919 police strike in Birkenhead.

:19:09.:19:12.

But the real key to it was the process that was used after they

:19:12.:19:15.

were arrested. Two police would arrest one miner. They would take

:19:15.:19:19.

them back through the police lines to an office and lock him up,

:19:19.:19:21.

having presented him to a custody sergeant and write their statement

:19:21.:19:25.

immediately. And in that office, as they told us, were some detectives

:19:25.:19:27.

who were dictating the paragraphs alleging the scene of disorder

:19:28.:19:31.

necessary to make a little offence like throwing a pork pie, into a

:19:31.:19:41.
:19:41.:19:41.

riot. The main reason I think why the

:19:41.:19:43.

Orgreave trial collapsed was because the police being totally

:19:44.:19:47.

out of control, cavalier in the whole affair, were in such a rush

:19:47.:19:49.

to arrest people, injure people, that who arrested who was lost

:19:50.:19:57.

track of. So they didn't keep a note of which person had been

:19:57.:20:02.

arrested by which cop. So they had a whole big bunch of people and

:20:02.:20:07.

whole big bunch of cops and they just made up who they arrested. And

:20:07.:20:12.

then they made up the stories associated with who'd done what.

:20:12.:20:16.

You can see in a way that they were merely trying to set the scenario,

:20:16.:20:19.

but actually what they were doing was teeing up, perverting the

:20:19.:20:22.

course of justice. Because these men could not say that those things

:20:22.:20:25.

had happened yet they were signing a statement saying they knew they'd

:20:25.:20:28.

be prosecuted if they got it wrong, and come into court and giving

:20:28.:20:30.

evidence in accordance to their statement of scenes they'd simply

:20:30.:20:37.

never seen. The people who were arrested that day, were

:20:37.:20:46.

subsequently charge with riot? Were you surprised? Actually it did.

:20:46.:20:49.

Because normally the public order offence, Section 5 Public Order

:20:49.:20:53.

would be the one they used. So even when you get groups of people on a

:20:53.:20:56.

Friday night or so, that would be it. We took the Orgreave statements

:20:56.:21:00.

to a leading Sheffield barrister to ask for an independent opinion.

:21:00.:21:03.

It's very obvious in the Orgreave case that there was widespread

:21:03.:21:09.

collusion. You can't get statements written in the way they have been

:21:09.:21:11.

done here, by police officers from different forces involved in

:21:11.:21:14.

different arrests and find such a degree of similarity between those

:21:14.:21:23.

statements without there being some degree of collusion. I've just

:21:23.:21:29.

taken one of a number of examples. This is a West Yorkshire police

:21:29.:21:32.

officer who is involved in a separate arrest, nothing to do with

:21:32.:21:35.

this South Yorkshire officer. But when you put their statements

:21:35.:21:38.

literally side by side, you can see that their statements begin in an

:21:38.:21:48.
:21:48.:21:58.

You've got the setting of the scene here as to the date. This passage

:21:58.:22:07.

here. Exactly the same in the two statements. That's word for word.

:22:07.:22:09.

Absolutely, and then here's an interesting phrase. "Periodically

:22:09.:22:12.

there was missile throwing from the back of the ranks, but apart from

:22:12.:22:15.

this there was no trouble". Now some other statements have the

:22:15.:22:18.

first part of that but leave out that second bit. But there are

:22:18.:22:21.

literally several dozen examples of police officers who've used exactly

:22:21.:22:27.

the same phrase there. I was frankly shocked by Orgreave.

:22:27.:22:30.

By the deliberate nature of putting together this case against men who

:22:30.:22:33.

were after all, some of them may have been occasionally violent,

:22:33.:22:36.

many of them absolutely were not, but after all they were simply

:22:36.:22:40.

trying to fight for their jobs and that's what they were doing, so I

:22:40.:22:43.

was shocked by the extent of the politicisation of police, and to

:22:43.:22:50.

some extent the criminal justice system generally. And how strong do

:22:50.:22:53.

you think the evidence is that cover that was enacted after

:22:53.:23:00.

Hillsborough was in their culture already at the time of Orgreave?

:23:00.:23:06.

I think the evidence is strong. What happened at Orgreave seems to

:23:06.:23:09.

be on the basis that the police just assumed that if they gave a

:23:09.:23:14.

particular account of the day's events. Nobody would challenge, or

:23:14.:23:21.

at least nobody who they thought mattered would challenge them. And

:23:21.:23:24.

so when you have groups of miners and the miners' communities saying,

:23:24.:23:27.

"that's not how it happened at Orgreave, we know, that's not how

:23:27.:23:30.

it happened". Of course there's a parallel there with Liverpool and

:23:30.:23:33.

Hillsborough. The Hillsborough families have known all along the

:23:33.:23:39.

truth. But it was an attempt by the police to set the agenda according

:23:39.:23:42.

the fact that I think at the time they did feel that they could say

:23:43.:23:45.

these things and that nobody who mattered was going to challenge

:23:45.:23:49.

them. As indeed is the case, because outside of the trial,

:23:49.:23:56.

nobody did challenge them and bring them to book.

:23:56.:23:59.

In those days, every day at about 11 o'clock, we'd all troop over to

:24:00.:24:02.

Downing Street and the press secretary of that time would brief

:24:02.:24:09.

us on Margaret Thatcher's attitude. Now even though it's a long time

:24:09.:24:13.

ago, almost daily we heard the miners described as a bunch of yobs

:24:13.:24:16.

or yobbos - that was one of the favourite phrases - and how dare

:24:16.:24:24.

they hold the country to ransom. When we queried police tactics, we

:24:24.:24:27.

were simply told that anyone who challenges the government or bad

:24:27.:24:35.

mouths the police is the enemy within.

:24:35.:24:39.

No doubt at all that it was political. I mean before Orgreave

:24:39.:24:42.

I'd done other cases and although by the establishment there's been a

:24:42.:24:45.

continual denial that we have political trials in the United

:24:45.:24:48.

Kingdom, in fact they're a little more subtle, they don't call them

:24:48.:24:51.

political trials and it's not a political offence. But essentially

:24:51.:24:55.

the momentum is undoubtedly political. And as far as 1984

:24:55.:25:05.
:25:05.:25:10.

miners' strike and strikes before. This was clearly a political battle

:25:10.:25:12.

and a political imperative. Thatcher saw the NUM as being

:25:12.:25:15.

subversive. And that's how they became "the enemy within" so what

:25:15.:25:20.

could be more political than that? The notable thing about it is that

:25:20.:25:23.

because it didn't succeed, it was a mass acquittal, very little has

:25:23.:25:26.

been made of it. If they had been convicted and then acquitted again

:25:26.:25:29.

years later, that somehow hits the spot in a way that an acquittal

:25:29.:25:35.

didn't. So there is no doubt among some cases, for instance, Stefan

:25:35.:25:38.

Kiszko, that was pure dealing with forensic stuff, this is much worse

:25:38.:25:42.

than some of those cases. Though it's not dissimilar to the kind of

:25:42.:25:52.
:25:52.:25:56.

Birmingham Six situation. It is a miscarriage of justice, but not in

:25:56.:25:59.

a normal sense of the word. Obviously if they'd been found

:25:59.:26:03.

guilty and had to go to appeal and then got let off, those are the

:26:03.:26:05.

famous miscarriage of justices. But there's a much bigger miscarriage

:26:05.:26:10.

of justice here at Orgreave. And it's not isolated because we see

:26:10.:26:14.

the same thing at Hillsborough. Not a single police officer was

:26:14.:26:21.

prosecuted. Even ones that were caught on camera beating a

:26:21.:26:24.

defensive miner, holding one to the ground and beating him in one

:26:24.:26:31.

particular case, not a single officer prosecuted. Not a single

:26:31.:26:39.

one was even disciplined. It's obviously difficult because of

:26:39.:26:43.

the lapse of time. It's now getting on for 30 years since Orgreave. But

:26:43.:26:46.

the fact remains that if there is evidence that senior police

:26:46.:26:48.

officers in South Yorkshire Police did apparently conspire together

:26:48.:26:51.

and this couldn't have happened just on one officers' say so, if

:26:51.:26:54.

there's evidence of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, then

:26:54.:26:57.

in principle, why should they be allowed to live out their

:26:57.:27:07.
:27:07.:27:10.

retirements on their pensions with We asked South Yorkshire Police to

:27:10.:27:15.

participate in this film but they declined. Instead they gave us this

:27:15.:27:20.

statement. "South Yorkshire Police notes the issues raised in the

:27:20.:27:24.

programme and will consider whether any review is necessary. The force

:27:24.:27:27.

is not aware of any adverse comment about the statements from the trial

:27:27.:27:37.
:27:37.:27:40.

judge in the case. The police and reputation in mining areas went

:27:40.:27:45.

crashing to the ground. I was still practising during the miners'

:27:45.:27:52.

strike. If there was any evidence against a police officer, there

:27:52.:27:57.

would never be a conviction. There is still strong feelings against

:27:57.:28:07.
:28:07.:28:10.

The Battle of Orgreave happened 28 years ago. Ancient history some

:28:10.:28:13.

might say. But as we've seen tonight and as we've learned

:28:13.:28:16.

recently with Hillsborough, what lies in the past isn't necessarily

:28:16.:28:18.

a closed chapter. The South Yorkshire Police of today is

:28:18.:28:21.

different to its 1980s counterpart, but fate has dictated that the

:28:21.:28:24.

actions of the force in the 1980s, at Hillsborough and at Orgreave,

:28:24.:28:33.

will now face closer scrutiny than they ever did at the time. That's

:28:33.:28:37.

all for tonight. But you can find us on Facebook and follow us on

:28:37.:28:46.

Dan Johnson investigates the acquittal of 95 miners charged with rioting at Orgreave during the miners' strike and uncovers new evidence about the conduct of South Yorkshire Police.


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