Shaun Wright - I'll launch review into police statements manipul


Shaun Wright, Labour's Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for South Yorkshire, has said he will initiate a detailed review to get to the bottom of allegations that South Yorkshire Police Officers were told what to include in their statements during the miners strike in 1984 if he wins November's election.

Allegations will be aired in a special BBC "Inside Out" programme tonight that officers were asked to include in their statements scenes which they had never seen.

Analysis of about 100 statements from officers involved in the dispute at Orgreave coke works show dozens of examples of the exact same phrases being used, which a senior barrister has told the BBC demonstrates "widespread collusion".

Shaun Wright said:

"The miners strike impacted upon thousands of families in South Yorkshire and these allegations will come as no surprise to many who witnessed what actually happened first hand only to see a different version of events appear in police officers' testimony.

"It now appears there is strong evidence to suggest officers' evidence was manipulated and someone was telling them what they should and shouldn't include in their statements. If this is true it shows an endemic problem with South Yorkshire Police throughout the 1980s.

"Quite rightly this is a hugely emotive issue in South Yorkshire, so the future credibility of our police is at stake, and that is why if elected I will launch a detailed review to get to the bottom of what happened.

"The miners, their families and South Yorkshire's communities who were hit so hard by these events at the time deserve nothing less, and frankly with this and the similar events in the Hillsborough aftermath a thorough review to find out the whole truth is now essential. I'm sure this would also be welcomed by South Yorkshire police officers serving today who are keen to have full public faith in our police force restored."

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