Former miner calls for police review

Miner Gary Kirby with Jon Trickett. (h603b244)
Miner Gary Kirby with Jon Trickett. (h603b244)
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A FORMER miner has called for an independent investigation into the policing of a notorious miners’ strike in the 1980s following an alleged cover-up by police.

Gary Kirby, 53, of Springwell Court, Hemsworth, worked at Horden Colliery, County Durham in 1984 when he was asked to join the miners’ protest in Orgreave, Sheffield.

After watching a BBC documentary last week, and Mr Kirby

Mr Kirby claimed that he was arrested by an officer from Greater Manchester Police but that his charge sheet was written by a South Yorkshire constable he had never heard of.

He also claimed that police were very aggressive and locked him in a police van for more than four hours following his arrest.

And after seeing a BBC documentary on the protests, Mr Kirby is now calling for a review into the actions of the police on the day.

Mr Kirby, who was 25 at the time, said: “I would like to get a proper investigation into the police actions because there has never been one.”

“I would have loved to have done it years ago but its through the documentary and Hillsborough that we have got the chance to get it re-opened.”

The claims come seven weeks after an independent enquiry found that police attempted to avoid blame for the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans who died in the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster.

And Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett says recent revelations have led to growing concerns about South Yorkshire Police at the time.

He said: “I was left feeling very uncomfortable about what I was told by Mr Kirby and I intend to carry it further but I would like to hear from anyone else who has had similar experiences.

“This is a South Yorkshire force which is now obviously under scrutiny and has systematically adopted statements and because of that it does raise alarming questions.”

Mr Trickett added that he would like to hear from any other miners who were at Orgreave in 1984 who may have had similar experiences to Mr Kirby.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “The policing of the miners’ strike at Orgreave on 18 June 1984 was a serious and significant incident in the context of a long, difficult and sometimes violent industrial dispute nearly thirty years ago.

“At this stage, South Yorkshire Police has not had the opportunity to see the material that the BBC referred to and it would not be appropriate to reach any immediate conclusions until the Force has had sight of this material. The Force is looking at the matters raised in the documentary and is considering if a review is necessary.”

To contact Mr Trickett call 01977 722290.