IPCC review of matters relating to the policing of events at Orgreave coking plant in 1984
It appears that at the time, plans for policing public order events were recorded in “Operational Orders”. In the course of this review the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) provided a copy of the “List of Documents, Privileged, and Schedule I Part II” served on Birnbergs solicitors by SYP during the civil proceedings. Item 3.1 is described as “South Yorkshire Police Operational Order for Orgreave NUM dispute at Orgreave dated 23.05.84”. That document had been withheld in the civil proceedings on the ground that it was privileged. The IPCC were asked to look for this document in the belief it may be highly relevant to how policing was planned on 18 June 1984. This document has been obtained during the review. Although it is plainly the document referred to in the list of documents, and deals with arrangements for policing the convoys of lorries coming to and from the Orgreave plant, it is in general terms and is not specific to 18 June. It would seem obvious that there must have been more detailed planning for the event, given the number of officers whose presence was arranged through the National Reporting Centre (NRC) 2. However if more detailed planning was recorded in a document, it has not been found during the review and does not appear to have been included in any list of documents for the civil proceedings that followed the events at Orgreave (which it should have been if it did exist).
Some detailed aspects of the planning and arrangements were set out after the event in the statement of Officer 1 of West Yorkshire Police (WYP) dated 26 June 1985. He described himself in his statement as Director of Studies for Regional Command Training for Community Disorder. He was seconded to Orgreave on 29 May 1984. Initially he took operational command but says that he passed on his skills to senior SYP officers and from mid-June he remained only in an advisory role. He refers to having had a tape recorder with him the majority of the time, into which he dictated notes of the events and which he retained for use in his capacity as instructor. The review has not located these recordings and it is unclear if they were available at trial which commenced at Sheffield Crown Court on 17 May 1985 (the trial).