Friday, 23 July 2010

Briefing notes.

Since Monday the 12th July 2010 Team Voice have been publishing a series of briefing notes, sent to ALL Jersey “accredited” media by recently retired Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM.

We know there are those, including some parts of our “accredited” media, who couldn’t care less what the former CPO has to say. However we also know that there are those that are following this case very closely and want to know every word that Graham Power has to say.

Naturally if this subject does not interest you, and if you haven’t clicked off already, then now is the time to do so.

For those who are interested in the briefing notes issued by Graham Power to our local “accredited” media in response to our Home Affairs Minister, making available to them the NINETY PER CENT REDACTED Wiltshire Report they are listed below in the order they have been published by Team Voice.

We are doing this for ease of reference for those who have a serious interest in studying, not only the sham that has gone on but an interest in how our local “accredited” media report.(or don’t)

First briefing note can be seen HERE

Second HERE

Third HERE

Fourth HERE

Fifth HERE

There are three more briefing notes to come, possibly four, but the “accredited” media might not know too much about the possible fourth!

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Today on BBC Radio Jersey we heard Senator Ian “Skippy” Le Marquand accusing our Chief Police Officer of being a “liar”. It was over the subject of who was dragging out the disciplinary process. “Skippy” claims it was the Chief Police Officer and vice versa. So I believe it is safe to say, one of them is a liar.

Here’s where it gets a little curious. As regular readers will be aware, CPO Graham Power sent out a series of 8 “briefing notes” to ALL local “accredited” media. And this was on the 12th July 2010 (6 days ago) so Christie Tucker would, or certainly should have been able to quote from them, can’t remember if she did or not, but I don’t recall her challenging Skippy with the briefing note below (but stand to be corrected).

Briefing note 8.

This briefing note has been prepared by Graham Power in an attempt to assist editors in reporting issues arising from the decision by the Minister for Home Affairs to abandon all disciplinary proceedings.


“Running out of time.” What was said during the Judicial Review hearing.

In September 2009 the Royal Court published its verdict in relation to my application for a Judicial review of my suspension. My application was refused but the Court made strong criticism of how the suspension had been carried out by the previous Minister. The current Minister applied to the Court for the award of Costs. The Court refused his application.

The Minister when challenged has sometimes been heard to say that the Royal Court found that he was “right” to maintain the suspension. That is not strictly true. Courts rarely pass a view as to whether a Ministerial decision was “right” or “wrong.” Courts are concerned with whether decisions are lawful or unlawful. In particular a Court will determine whether a Minister acted within his powers. That is not the same as deciding that the Minister was “right.” A Court could, for example, come privately to the view that a Minister had acted unwisely or even foolishly, but that he had not exceeded his powers. That is not the same as deciding that the Minister was “right.”

My application to the Court was wide ranging but one feature is now particularly relevant. This was the part of my submission which invited to the Court to consider whether the Minister was drawing out the process to a point at which there would be no possibility of a return to work, and that there was a diminishing probability that I would get an opportunity to present my defence at a fair hearing. In my submission to the Court I said “The applicant invites the Court to consider whether the Minister is in fact engaged in a process of ‘dismissal by stealth’ which would effectively by-pass the need for an evidence based assessment and a fair hearing.” (Skeleton Argument paragraph 91.) The Minister opposed this submission. It was said on his behalf that a report from the Chief Constable of Wiltshire would be available soon and, should disciplinary issues arise, the Minister had every intention of arranging a fair hearing at which evidence on my behalf could be heard. Having considered both arguments the Court found in the Ministers favour. In the published judgement the Court states “Judging from previous precedents, he (Mr Power) maintained that the suspension of a person of Chief Officer rank was normally a career ending event and in perpetuating the suspension the Minister knew full well what he was doing. The longer the suspension, the less the probability of the Chief Officer successfully resuming a career. As it transpires, Mr Power is due to retire in any event in 2010.

We can sympathise with anyone in Mr Power’s position and can understand the deleterious effect of a lengthy suspension. However, there is no evidence that the Minister is engaged on a cynical exercise of his powers to bring about a constructive dismissal without a fair hearing.”
(Court Judgement.Paragraphs 51 and 52.)

The judgement was of course delivered in September 2009 and a good deal has happened (and not happened) since that date.

With the benefit of hindsight Editors may feel entitled to form a view as to whose evidence to the Royal Court on this issue has proved to be the more accurate.

Submitted by VFC.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Proper Job (2).

Following on from Chief Police Officer Graham Power’s Briefing notes to the media the first one being HERE. Team Voice are happy to bring to our readers, the second in this series.

One must remember ALL island “accredited” media have copies. As the story is unfolding, we are more, and more able to become aware as to how Senator Le Marquand, and others, have been “operating”.

Briefing note 2. July 2010.
The following briefing note has been issued to Editors by Graham Power in order to assist with the reporting of issues relating to the decision by the Minister for Home Affairs to abandon all disciplinary proceedings.


How did all the delays happen?
There is already a lot on this subject in the public domain regarding missed deadlines and commitments which have not been kept. (Remember that the Minister originally stated that he expected to be in a position to take decisions in respect of the Wiltshire investigation in March 2009.)
This briefing note will seek to set out some additional information which may not yet be in the public domain.

Key to the issue is paragraph 2.1.2 of the Disciplinary Code for the Chief Officer of Police which sets out the processes which must be followed before there can be a disciplinary hearing. All media organisations have previously been provided with a hard copy of the Code. I do not have an electronic copy available at this time but will search further and forward one if it can be found.

Three features of this paragraph of the code are relevant for the purposes of this note. The first is the requirement that the Chief Executive (in this case the Deputy Chief Executive) conducts a “Preliminary Investigation” (in this case assisted by the Chief Constable of Wiltshire.) The second is that the Chief Executive prepares a report on his investigation, which has been referred to as the “Preliminary Report.” The third is that the Minister and the Chief Officer are provided with copies of the Preliminary Report and meet to discuss its contents along with the Chief Executive and representatives as appropriate. It is at this meeting that the Minister has to decide whether the matter goes any further, for example to a disciplinary hearing. It is probable that the authors of the Disciplinary Code saw the meeting as an opportunity to settle matters without further formal process. We cannot be sure of that. What is however certain is that there can be no disciplinary hearing until both parties have received copies of the “Preliminary Report” and a meeting has taken place. It may therefore be worthwhile exploring the history of the “Preliminary Reports” in this case and the meeting which did not occur.

On 11th February 2010 the Deputy Chief Executive wrote to me and said that he had received the information he needed from Wiltshire to produce a Preliminary Report in relation to the management of the Historic Abuse Enquiry and that he expected the Minister to arrange a meeting “as soon as possible” in order to progress matters under the Code.

It was however not until 19th April 2010 that received a copy of the “Preliminary Report.” This nevertheless appeared to clear the decks for a meeting with the Minister under the Code and for the process to move forward.

However, at this point an issue arose which was the subject of correspondence over the following months. Namely, was the proposed meeting about “Haven 1” (the abuse enquiry) alone? Or would it also cover “Haven 2” (Operation Blast?) It was hard to get a clear answer to this question but eventually it emerged that the Minister appeared to want to deal with both issues together. That being the case he then had to comply with the requirements of the Code in relation to “Haven 2” and provide a further preliminary report. But by that time “Haven 2” was seriously behind schedule. It did not get off to a good start. The investigation was announced by the Minister in June 2009 (source-Hansard) but no Investigating Officer was appointed until September 2009 (source – letter from the Chief Constable of Wiltshire.) Even then it was clear that the estimated timescale of “three to four months” (source-letter from Chief Constable of Wilts) was seriously over-running.

An exchange of letters took place in April 2010 in which the Deputy Chief Executive spoke of his intention to arrange a meeting under the Code. I replied reminding him that the meeting could not take place until the Preliminary Report in relation to “Haven 2” had been received and studied by the parties. I also asked for a draft agenda for the meeting. I did not receive an agenda and I did not receive a Preliminary Report. A similar exchange took place in May 2010. Again, I did not receive an agenda or a Preliminary Report. It therefore remained impossible for a meeting to take place in accordance with the Code.

Running alongside these exchanges were discussions I was having with the HR Branch of the Chief Ministers Department, regarding the administrative formalities associated with my retirement. As part of this exercise I asked that Department (who I should add have been courteous and professional throughout) to designate my “last working day.” Most readers will be familiar with this process but I will give brief details for the benefit of any who are not. In order that retirement can be a “clean break” it is necessary to identify any outstanding entitlements, such as untaken leave, and to resolve these before the actual retirement date. This ensures that after retirement neither party has a claim on the other in respect of untaken leave or related issues. The Chief Ministers Department applied this process and identified Tuesday 15th June as my “last working day. I was told that I would thereafter be on leave until the end of my service. Having been given this written assurance I made appropriate leave arrangements with my family.

Subsequently, the “Preliminary Report” in relation to “Haven 2” was delivered. It was sent to my home address by courier and was received and signed for by a family member who was at the house at the time. Its receipt is therefore a matter of record. The delivery of the Preliminary Report took place on the morning of Wednesday 23rd June 2010 over one week after my “last working day.”

My professional representative, Dr Timothy Brain, learned of the delivery and wrote to the Minister pointing out that my “last working day” had been and gone and that matters were effectively at an end.

While I am not an impartial judge in these matters, the sequence of events does appear to raise some questions regarding the extent of the Ministers commitment to allow a hearing of my case. Why for example did he not proceed on the basis of “Haven 1” when he was in a position to do so? Also, what was the thinking behind providing a copy of the Preliminary Report for Haven 2 after I had effectively retired? Was it some sort of token gesture or had the Minister simply lost sight of the passage of time?

Whatever explanation is correct there is some irony in this sequence of events. The whole saga began in November 2008 in a confusing exchange in the midst of a family holiday.It appears to have ended the same way.

I hope that this note is helpful. Other notes will be circulated as issues are identified.

Submitted by Team Voice.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Let’s “play ball”?

After the Sates and their Communications Unit have repeatedly refused to accept “Team Voice” as “Media” and after Team Voice have played along with all the daft “rules” of the establishment, as in the completely un-workable three day notice for filming Scrutiny Hearings and abiding by all media embargoes we have become very tired of it all.

We have repeatedly been leaked documents, and not reported on Court Cases that have been embargoed, and adhered to these restrictions. However after once more not being "included", this time in the distribution the “cherry picked” Wiltshire Report, by the Communications Unit, although in fairness we believe it was the decision of the Home Affairs Minister or his Department. We explained that as they refuse to treat us with any kind of recognition, then that would inevitably result in us not “playing ball” any longer, but that is their decision not ours.

The absolutely disgraceful decision of the Chief Minister’s Department to furnish the “accredited” media with a copy of the cherry picked Wiltshire Report, without supplying CPO Power with a copy and then “refusing” States Members and Team Voice a copy, “the inevitable” is about to happen.

Team Voice were leaked a copy just hours after it was released to the media and as we are not recognized as “accredited” media, we have no obligation to adhere to the “media” embargo.

Nonetheless to further prove, we are trying to work “with” the powers that be we will not breach the embargo but will publish a “cherry picked” paragraph from the cherry picked Wiltshire Report. We will do this for two reasons. That is to give our readers/viewers a “flavour” of this almost laughable Report and also to let the powers that be know that we are not bluffing.

It is time for the powers that be to start playing ball, we’ve proved that we are willing to!

Excerpt from Cherry picked Wiltshire.

"During the course of our investigation, thousands of States of Jersey Police e-mails relating to CO Power were assessed by Operation Haven Personnel. Two, in particular, are noteworthy for their inappropriateness. One on 23 February 2008 (the day of the significant “find” at Haut de la Garenne) indicates at best, a flippant or dismissive attitude or at worst, a contemptuous attitude towards some elected politicians, but which on either interpretation set a poor example to DCO Harper who read it. However, one dated 29 February 2008 contains “joke” comments which are considered simply inexcusable by this inquiry. This e-mail was sent from the Force e-mail system to a friend and former colleague of CO Power in the United Kingdom. The appropriateness of the e-mails is reflected in the charges suggested against CO Power."

Submitted by Team Voice.

Monday, 5 July 2010

CARSWELL that ends well…..

The panel of 3 lawyers, a lawyer’s wife and a nurse, has ended the first part of its look at the Jersey Crown Officers.

Your intrepid non-accredited reporter has attended most of the hearings which have largely consisted of lawyers and royal courtiers defending the status quo. Not too surprisingly, they did not have to defend too hard because the level of questioning seldom tested or stretched minds.

From the outset – when Deputy Bob Hill was in the witness chair – Lord Carswell made his bias in favour of his legal brethren and hostility towards most of the rest, abundantly obvious.
Lawyers talking shop – politely of course – has been the order of the day, so don’t expect too much change from this lot in September when their report is published.

The consultation process is not quite finished yet. Your reporter asked about the overbearing dominance of lawyers talking to lawyers and not enough plumbers etc taking part. Lord Carswell promised at least one general public evening session to come - so plumbers or plebs – there is another chance to express views.

However, it has been remarkable how little public interest has been shown in this most important process initiated by Deputy Hill (after a hard fought struggle).
The accredited media have predictably reported only the hearings with the Crown Officers plus a few other safe pairs of hands or VIPs.
The public have stayed away more or less altogether from the hearings – is this contempt for the Crown Officers’ system or the usual indifference and apathy?

The panel received about 45 written submissions according to those published on its website:

About 13 are from the “lay general public,” but since these are often just a paragraph do not generally contribute much to the discussion. As Mrs. B. Murphy wrote “It is my belief that the Crown Officers fulfil their roles well, particularly in these modern times.”
Not exactly a major contribution to reasoned discussion.

Others were:
Jersey Lawyers 5 Non Jersey Lawyers 3 Acting Chief of States Police 1
States Members 8 Parish Constable 1 Ex-States Members 5

There is a degree of overlap because some ex-States members (like Reg. Jeune) are also lawyers and some Jurats have been States members or Honorary Police but the dominance of self-preserving Crown Officers (all Jersey lawyers of course), Jurats, lawyers and their establishment supporters is painfully obvious.

Thus the Bailiffs and Deputy Bailiffs, past and present, Attorney and Solicitor Generals (past and present) feature prominently and repeatedly along with the Viscount/Judicial Greffier and even the Dean.

Virtually all the serving dozen Jurats seems to have put their names to one or other of the submissions.
Group submissions from the Scrutiny Chairmen’s Committee (just single paragraphs from 4 Scrutiny Panels), the Chefs De Police (signed by Centenier Scaife), the Constables Committee (Ken Vibert) and the Honorary Police Association, purport to present a solid front of loyalty. However, the latter managed only to write that “The Honorary Police of Jersey support the role of the Attorney General and have no wish to comment further.” Again, not a very substantial or challenging point of view there.

The Jersey Human Rights group offered a unique submission from the more “progressive” side of the Jersey way of life but the more traditional, conservative “change nothing” lobby was overwhelming.

Lord Carswell had personally written to the Guernsey Bailiff inviting his comments. No harm in that – but did he write to any plumbers etc in that Bailiwick or even in Jersey, soliciting their views? The Guernsey AG and SG equivalents also responded as did an ex-Deputy-Bailiff.
Is this a case of all hands to the pump on an ancient sinking ship?
Even a UK Judge (Page) aka a Jersey Commissioner rallied to support the cause.
Adrian Lee, the UK Political commentator and BBC political pundit also offered. an academic analysis.

Those called as witnesses included only two “lay members of the general public” and one of those (John Henwood) had sat on the Clothier Panel.
All the other 30 or so called to speak were either lawyers (Jersey qualified or not), Crown Officers past and present, Jurats, States members past and present, Constables or Honorary Police, the Judicial Greffier and the Acting Chief of Police.

Can this really be considered as a representative slice of Jersey opinion on this most important subject? Especially since some of the Crown Officers have been called back to repeat much the same evidence repeated ad nauseum by themselves and others.
Lord Carswell’s panel, it seems, just so enjoyed chatting to them.

Strangely, the texts of the Bailiff’s and Deputy Bailiff’s oral hearings are not yet published on the website and some witnesses (e.g. Frank Walker and Senator Shenton) seem to have appeared as witnesses without having submitted written statements previously. Senator Shenton expressed some very interesting comments on the failures of the Scrutiny system – but who did he speak for and did he seek prior approval from the Scrutiny Panels?

Strange too that so few of Jersey’s so called “progressives” made any submissions at all or showed any interest in this panel’s activities, Why no JDA comment or participation, or the Jersey CAB or the States Greffiers, past and present?

Anybody interested in the future of democratic government in Jersey is urged to look at the website and study the written and oral submissions.

Note especially those from Bob Le Brocq, Advocate Kelleher, John Henwood, Mike Dun, Frank Walker and Nick le Cornu.

For a special treat read the written submission from Advocate Philip Sinel and wonder if he was invited to meet the panel!

For starters he wrote:

“Jersey’s legal system is, in its entirety, fundamentally incompatible with the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the Convention)” and

“The attitude of Jersey’s authority in relation to the non compliance by the Island with the Convention is one of calculated defiance.”


Remember the public hearing yet to come. You can still have your say.
We cannot wait another 800 years for reform.

Thomas Wellard