Sunday, 31 January 2010

"Accredited" statistics and "The Jersey Way"

Only the most careful readers of the Jersey Evening Post will have spotted one of the more significant statistics relating to the historic abuse enquiry which emerged in the small print of an article on page two on 26th January 2010.  

A news release, notably by the NSPCC and not by the Jersey government, appears to have forced the disclosure that since the peak of the abuse enquiry the number of child abuse cases coming to the notice of the Jersey authorities each year has increased from 65 to 234.   In other words the official statistics have more than trebled.  

In spite of this massive increase the official Jersey figure is still “just below the national average for a population of our size” according to the Minister for Home Affairs.  

Although nobody would expect penetrating journalism from the JEP, let alone an admission that there may have been a problem of unrecorded child abuse which has existed for decades, the burying of this information in the small print of an article contrasts sharply with their priorities of only four days previously, when they managed to turn comment on Lenny Harpers book-keeping arrangements in to a front page shock headline when two of the Child Abusers that he brought to “justice” failed in their attempt to appeal against their convictions.

Nobody appears to be disputing that the increase is down to the impact of the abuse enquiry when, controversially, and to the rising anger of the Jersey authorities, the police made direct appeals for victims to come forward, and the government agencies charged with the “protection” of children found themselves having to accept, record, and deal with, the real scale of the problem rather than the “pretend” figures which had been used earlier.

Before we become too immersed in the statistics let us not forget that behind every number there is a real child and real suffering.   234 minus 65 equals 169.    That is, one hundred and sixty nine real children every year whose suffering and right to justice would not “officially exist” had it not been for the efforts of the police during the events at Haut de la Garenne and elsewhere.   Any normal person would have thought that a reasonable society would have fallen over itself to reward those who brought protection and justice to these children, and would have viewed harshly those responsible for their “protection” who had hitherto kept the problem under wraps.  

Not so in Jersey.   Lenny Harper, although long retired, is subjected to vitriol and abuse at every opportunity.   Graham Power, who was head of the force at the time, has been suspended for fifteen months without any disciplinary charge being brought.   Meanwhile, Wiltshire police, who are tasked with finding evidence against him in a “no expense spared” investigation funded by the Jersey taxpayer, continue to scrape every available barrel to justify the unjustifiable.    Unsurprisingly the politicians and civil servants behind decades of cover-ups continue to see their careers prosper.   An outside observer might think that Jersey has got its priorities the wrong way around. If so they do not understand the “Jersey Way.”

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Jersey’s Holocaust Hypocrites

The Good and the Great of Jersey will be remembering Holocaust Day again today and that should be the very least we can do for those millions of people that died in the extermination camps of WW2.

But of course, the lessons of that terrible war should not just be evident on one day each year – the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is for every day and everybody and it’s just one among dozens and dozens of international treaties and conventions that the people of Jersey should have embraced.

In fact the post war human rights history of Jersey is a dreadful disgrace and those people who assemble at the Jersey Holocaust memorial really do need to examine their own purposes.

This Island has still not even ratified such UN Conventions as the Rights of the Child or the Elimination of Discrimination against Women or the Protection of People with Disabilities. There are many more too.

Even where treaties have been ratified, Jersey lags behind other territories and has not ratified the “optional protocols” that make them effective. Thus Jersey still has no anti-discrimination legislation in place – 65 years after the end of the Occupation! It is an insult to those Jersey people who died and to all those people who have given their lives or been injured in conflicts the world over.

The attitude of Jersey’s government and people towards Human Rights and the adherence to basic international standards is one of ignorance and the failure to learn anything very substantial from the experiences of the Holocaust and the related inhumanities of war.

In accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the message of peace and respect for the dignity of mankind is supposed to be an integral part of education and promotion but in Jersey Human Right awareness is treated with contempt.

It is not enough to wreath lay on just one day per annum. The people of Jersey must accept their Human Rights responsibilities every day of the year in the workplace, in care homes, schools, homes, the courts and such like and the knowledge that enables people to understand the meaning of International Obligations should be an essential part of life.

Without the proper respect for Human Rights standards protected by law in Jersey – such potentially important occasions as Holocaust Day and Liberation Day are discredited.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Did your elected "representative" "represent" you with their vote?

Below is Proposition P182 submitted by Connetable Simon Crowcroft on the 18th of December 2008. Below that is how our elected "representatives" voted.

Were you "represented" with the vote? Who is your "representative"? and have you asked them why they voted how they did?

Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police: review of procedure regarding suspension
Lodged au Greffe on 18th December 2008
by the Connétable of St. Helier


THE STATES are asked to decide whether they are of opinion -
to request the Minister for Home Affairs to commission a compliance check on the procedures followed by his predecessor, the former Minister for Home Affairs, in suspending the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police on 12th November 2008 and to report to the States on the outcome of this compliance check no later than 1st March 2009.

Introductory note
Given the provisions of Article 9(4) of the Police Force (Jersey) Law 1974, the debate on this proposition must take place in camera. It follows that the contents of this report have been kept as brief as possible and that there is as little enlargement as possible upon its subject matter in order that the provisions of the relevant law are complied with.

Purpose of the proposition

This proposition seeks a simple check by an appropriately qualified body such as the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service, or any other independent body with expertise in the interpretation of industrial relations, into the actions taken by the Minister of Home Affairs in suspending the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police on 12th November 2008.
Any employee of the States of Jersey should be able to expect any complaints against them to be dealt with correctly. Therefore, the proposition has more general relevance as a willingness by the States to have their employment procedures checked for compliance should reassure all States of Jersey employees that their employer, the States, will not disregard the principles of good employment relations and of natural justice in their dealings with their employees.
Financial and manpower implications
Should this proposition be approved I would estimate that the work in reviewing the suspension procedure could be undertaken by a local, appropriately qualified and experienced Human Relations practitioner in half a day. The cost of this work would therefore be relatively insignificant.

Statement by the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the suspension of the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police
This Statement gives me no pleasure but I wish to inform the Assembly in accordance with my powers under Article 9 of the Police Force (Jersey) Law 1974, on 12th November 2008 I suspended the Chief Officer of Police from duty pending an inquiry under the Disciplinary Code applicable to the Chief Officer. The terms of that code place on me obligations of confidentiality and there is little that I can say about this matter at this time. I can, however, say that pursuant to that code I have taken steps to put an investigation in hand into matters of concern and that investigation is part of a process that when completed will result in a decision on the part of my successor as to what steps should then be taken. I am sure that Members will entirely understand that it would be most inappropriate to discuss any of the substantive matters that caused me to suspend the Chief Officer and to initiate the procedure under the Disciplinary Code. I cannot comment on them and I would ask the Assembly not to seek to explore them at this time. At some stage at the end of the process, my successor, whoever it will be, will need to make a decision about these substantive matters and he or she should not be influenced in any way by any views expressed by Members of the Assembly. In addition, of course, the Chief Officer cannot comment and has not yet had the full opportunity that the process allows to answer to these matters and to defend himself. Any debate would thus be unfair to him as the full facts are not yet known. I am sure, however, that Members will readily understand that a suspension in these circumstances is a neutral act and implies no finding one way or the other, but is rather an entirely prudent course to preserve the integrity of the investigation. If the Assembly wishes to ask questions I will endeavour to be helpful, but I do not propose to answer any questions that will breach the obligations, confidentiality or that I will disclose the detail of any of the substantive matters under investigation.

The Bailiff:
Now Members will be aware, I am sure, that the Police Force (Jersey) Law 1974 requires that any discussion in the States regarding the suspension of the Chief Officer shall take place in camera and I must, therefore, ask the transmitters to close down the transmission and ask those in the public gallery to withdraw so that the period of questioning allowed by Standing Orders may take place.

[Questioning proceeded in camera]

Police Force (Jersey) Law 1974, Article 9:
9 The Chief Officer and Deputy Chief Officer
(1) The Chief Officer shall be appointed by the States on such terms as to salary and conditions of service as the States Employment Board may from time to time determine.
(2) The Chief Officer may be suspended from office by the Minister which shall refer the matter to the States at their next Sitting and may be dismissed from office by the States.
(3) The Chief Officer shall be responsible to the Minister for the general administration and the discipline, training and organisation of the Force and of the Port Control Unit.
(4) Any discussion in the States regarding the appointment, suspension or dismissal of the Chief Officer shall take place in camera.
(5) The Deputy Chief Officer shall be appointed by the Minister on such terms as to salary and conditions of service as the States Employment Board may, from time to time, determine.
(6) In the event of the absence, incapacity, suspension or vacancy in the office of the Chief Officer, the functions of that office shall be discharged by the Deputy Chief Officer.

POUR: 21

Senator S. Syvret
Senator A. Breckon
Connétable of St. Helier

Connétable of St. Peter
Connétable of St. Lawrence
Connétable John Martin Refault

Deputy R.C. Duhamel (S)
Deputy of St. Martin
Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier (S)
Deputy J.A. Martin (H)
Deputy G.P. Southern (H)
Deputy of Grouville
Deputy P.V.F. Le Claire (H)
Deputy S. Pitman (H)
Deputy M. Tadier (B)
Deputy of St. Mary
Deputy T.M. Pitman (H)
Deputy T.A. Vallois (S)
Deputy M.R. Higgins (H)
Deputy A.K.F. Green (H)
Deputy D.J. De Sousa (H)
Deputy J.M. Maçon (S)


Senator T.A. Le Sueur
Senator P.F. Routier
Senator P.F.C. Ozouf
Senator B.E. Shenton
Senator F.E. Cohen
Senator J.L. Perchard
Senator A.J.D. Maclean
Senator S.C. Ferguson
Senator B.I. Le Marquand

Connétable of St. Ouen
Connétable of Trinity
Connétable of Grouville
Connétable of St. Brelade
Connétable of St. John
Connétable of St. Saviour
Connétable of St. Clement
Connétable of St. Mary

Deputy J.B. Fox (H)
Deputy of St. Ouen
Deputy of St. Peter
Deputy J.A. Hilton (H)
Deputy J.A.N. Le Fondré (L)
Deputy of Trinity
Deputy S.S.P.A. Power (B)
Deputy K.C. Lewis (S)
Deputy I.J. Gorst (C)
Deputy A.E. Jeune (B)
Deputy A.T. Dupré (C)


Deputy of St. John

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Press Statement from “Friends of Graham Power".

Below is a Press statement that, to the best of my knowledge, has been sent to all local “accredited” press or “news” outlets.

I thought it best to post it on a Blog, just in case it doesn’t get to see the light of day with our “accredited” press. It has coincidently come at a pretty good time as I will be publishing a Blog on VFC later tonight that will further demonstrate the struggle Chief Officer Graham Power has had, and is having, trying to find out “the truth” behind his (illegal?) suspension. And believe me this will be a posting that nobody will want to miss!

Mind you, this Press release makes for pretty scary reading in itself. There is becoming little doubt that the suspension of Chief Officer Power was a big mess and possibly even bigger mistake of our “ruling elite”.

This update has been issued by friends of the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police. It is intended to assist editors in reporting any issues which may arise in connection with his current suspension from duty. Please note that the Chief Officer is not able to speak personally to the media.


The contract of Graham Power, QPM, Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police, requires him to retire in 2010. His terms and conditions require that he gives six months notice of his retirement date.
Mr Power was sworn in as a Police Officer in 1966, and served in a number of senior positions in the UK before moving to Jersey in 2000. In 1994 he was decorated by the Queen for distinguished service. He will be 63 this year. He reached his designated “Normal Retiring Age” under the Jersey Public Employees Retirement Scheme in June 2007. Since then he has been engaged under a contract and terms and conditions which provide for him to work beyond his retirement date. The extended contract was approved by the States Employment Board in order to preserve continuity in the police management team at a time when a number of senior officers were all due to retire within a twelve month period. However, in doing so the Board determined that the Chief Officer must retire before the end of 2010. His notice period is six months. His intended retirement date must therefore be given in the first half of 2010, and in any event no later than the end of June. Mr Power’s specific retirement plans and his intended retirement date have so far not been publically disclosed. Editors will recall that since 2008, statements issued by friends of Mr Power have repeatedly said that he will retire in 2010, and that this information has regularly appeared in the public domain. Details of his contract dates and his terms and conditions are known to Ministers.
In 2008 Mr Power was suspended from duty by the former Minister for Home Affairs, Deputy Andrew Lewis, and informed that he might face disciplinary action. Wiltshire Police were appointed to prepare a “preliminary report” for the Minister to consider.

· No disciplinary action was taken in 2008.
· No disciplinary action was taken in 2009.
· No notification has been given of any decision to take disciplinary action in 2010.
· It is understood that although an incomplete draft report has been made available, Wiltshire Police have not finished their enquiries and that a completed report has not yet been presented to the Minister.
· Should the Minister for Home Affairs, after studying the completed report, eventually decide to take disciplinary action, this would need to be done in accordance with the process set out in the relevant Disciplinary Code. The disciplinary and appeal process for the Chief Officer of Police involves an initial meeting, and then potentially three separate hearings to consider the evidence. It is estimated that once it has been commenced the process could take up to a year to complete.
· Mr Power has consistently denied any wrong-doing and stated that he would strongly contest any disciplinary allegations which are made.

In November last year the total costs of the suspension and the Wiltshire Police investigation were given as approaching £700k. It is projected that they could reach £1m in 2010. To date no disciplinary charges have been brought and no hearing has been called.

Note to Editors (1)
Editors may have noticed what appears to be some attempted re-positioning of the purpose of the Wiltshire enquiry in statements made by the Minister for Home Affairs towards the end of last year. This has often occurred when the Minister has faced questions on the cost and value of the enquiry. For example, in a radio interview on 20th November 2009 the Minister spoke of the potential value of the Wiltshire report to any future public enquiry into the historic abuse issue. When answering a question in the States on 8th December he spoke of what he alleged was the adverse publicity for the island in February 2008, and the need for responsibility to be “unravelled in due course.” He also referred to the responsibility of “senior police officers” (note plural.) In answering the same question he is reported to have said “It is my belief that the public actually want to know what happened in February 2008 and the months after.”

Friends of the Chief Officer have taken advice and cannot reconcile the statements by the Minister with the known purpose and legal framework of the Wiltshire investigation. The Chief Constable of Wiltshire was requested to prepare a “preliminary report” under local police discipline procedures. The purpose of the Wiltshire investigation is to assist in determining whether there is evidence of misconduct by the Chief Officer which merits consideration by a disciplinary hearing. Police disciplinary reports are confidential documents and discipline hearings are held in private. The relevant Disciplinary Code (paragraph 1.2) provides only for the “outcome” of a case to be publicised. However, the code stipulates that even this may only occur if circumstances justify departure from a general rule of confidentiality. There is no provision in the Discipline Code or the Law for anything else to be made public. Article 9(4) of the Police Law specifically requires that any discussion in the States be held “in camera.” Wiltshire Police are preparing a report which is focussed on one person, and subject to strict rules of confidentiality. It is not therefore apparent how the investigation can serve any of the wider purposes suggested by the Minister.

Note to Editors.(2)
Editors may be aware of a media report in December 2009 which made reference to a Senior Police Officer being due to face a disciplinary hearing in February. That report related to a different officer. The allegations in that case are unconnected to the historic abuse enquiry or to any other matter affecting the Chief Officer.