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Dr Alan Billings speaks at Archives and Records Association Annual Conference

ARA Conference

Photo courtesy of ARA

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, was a keynote speaker at the Archives and Records Association Annual Conference on Wednesday, 30 August in Manchester.

The conference brings together archivists and record keepers in both the private and public sectors – from banks to the National Archives – from across the country and many parts of the world.

The Commissioner spoke about the role the Orgreave archives could play in bringing a sense of justice to both former miners and former mining communities after so many years.

Dr Billings said: “The so-called battle of Orgreave left scars, both physical and mental, that continue to this day.

“All the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and the communities want is to have the truth told about the events of that day.

“Many unanswered questions remain, especially the matter of whether the police action was politically orchestrated as an attempt to defeat the strike.

“Some of the answers may lie in records held by the government, the National Union of Mineworkers and the eighteen police forces present at Orgreave.

“At the moment, police archives are not open to public scrutiny”

Dr Billings has funded a professional archivist, Benjamin Longden, to catalogue the South Yorkshire Police Archives, which are held in the Sheffield Archives.

He commented: “Although Amber Rudd has said no to a public enquiry, I am hopeful that when parliament reconvenes we will be able to persuade the Home Affairs Select Committee to help get the archives into the public domain.”

Posted on Wednesday 6th September 2017
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