Back in early 2007 (not sure of the date) Chief Police Officer Graham Power and Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper were “the good guys”. They were rooting out the corruption in our “outdated” Police force and according to the Jersey Evening Post “ It goes without saying that in the police - beyond all other institutions - there is no room whatsoever for corruption or malpractice. If the professional standards section of our force determined that it was necessary to act with exemplary firmness, its stance deserves support rather than criticism.”
Below is that editorial published in, and by, the Jersey Evening Post early in 2007 where one would believe, after receiving glowing reports from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate, Lenny Harper and Graham Power were doing this right. This appears to be endorsed by the Jersey Evening Post, hence their “positive” Editorial.
But along came a Child Abuse Investigation, and these two cops who had received glowing reports from HMI and others also the support of the Jersey Evening Post - before you know it - they’re the bad guys! Come on JEP you can’t have it both ways, at what point did they lose your support, when was it that they went bad?
Everything all seemed Hunky Dory until these guys started investigating institutional Child Abuse.
I should like at this point to throw out a challenge to the Jersey Evening Post.
In their Editorial of February 23rd 2010 (below) they have written “One is that Mr Power’s deputy, Lenny Harper, was not effectively supervised as he pursued with ever increasing public zeal his unsubstantiated suspicions that torture, murder and institutional cover-up had taken place at the former children’s home.”
Could you please point us in the direction where Lenny Harper has ever said there was any “murder” at HDLG?
JEP Editorial from 2007.
Police Chief delivers change.
Six years ago the States of Jersey Police were the subject of a less than flattering report compiled in the wake of a visit by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. Since then, problems clearly have been solved and new standards have been set, the latest HMI report
having described the force as “modern and fast-moving”.
Police Chief Graham Power and his officers can be proud of this achievement. In common with forces up and down Britain, the States Police are a complex and many-layered organisation. Accomplishing the turn-around of the past six years can therefore, have been no easy undertaking. Nor can it have been particularly pleasant. The process of major change is always likely to upset those set in their ways or content to roll along in accordance with comfortable but outdated routines.
This process of transformation was undoubtedly at its most challenging when the professional standards department, led by Mr. Power’s deputy, Lenny Harper, embarked on a systematic programme to root out corruption. Mr. Harper’s determined efforts have been attacked - to the extent that they have been described as “out of control” by a prominent former politician - but the result of the latest HMI inspection would seem to justify the decision to probe as deeply as possible and to remove those officers who were less than a credit to their uniform.
It goes without saying that in the police - beyond all other institutions - there is no room whatsoever for corruption or malpractice. If the professional standards section of our force determined that it was necessary to act with exemplary firmness, its stance deserves support rather than criticism.
There are, of course, areas of the force where improvements can still be made. Indeed, the inspectorate has listed 78 suggestions for further change. With the combination of improved morale, high levels of confidence in the top echelon and firm political support, Mr. Power and his colleagues are in an excellent position to deliver that change.
We in Jersey are fortunate to live in a community where serious crime is mercifully rare. While important questions remain over the failure of the States to establish a new police authority , the force itself is organised and led in a way more than capable of maintaining this happy state of affairs.
Mr Power: Time to call a halt
February 23, 2010 – 3:00 pm
ALMOST exactly two years since the name of Haut de la Garenne hit the world’s headlines, Jersey is still dealing with the fall-out.
The ramifications of how the police and politicians handled that dramatic escalation of the Island’s historical child abuse inquiry will once again tax the wisdom of States Members this week when they debate Deputy Bob Hill’s call for a committee of inquiry into the suspension of States police chief Graham Power.
We may never know precisely what arguments he will make because the debate is to be held in private, but they will need to be powerful ones to justify the protraction of an already extensive examination.
There seems to be little, if any, doubt over the two key points. One is that Mr Power’s deputy, Lenny Harper, was not effectively supervised as he pursued with ever increasing public zeal his unsubstantiated suspicions that torture, murder and institutional cover-up had taken place at the former children’s home. The other is that in suspending Mr Power because of that failure of oversight, the powers that be slipped up in one or more parts of the procedural minefield that now surrounds employer/employee relations in Jersey.
Unequivocally damning evidence in respect of the first of those points has already been presented by the States police’s own review of the conduct of the abuse inquiry, carried out by a suitably qualified senior officer from the UK. More expert comment on the whole affair is due soon from the Wiltshire Constabulary, who have been commissioned to take a further independent view.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur has offered a review of the way Mr Power’s suspension was carried out. All this has already taken longer and cost more than is reasonable, with the delay providing a field day for conspiracy theorists in the process.In reaching a decision this week, the States will have to balance a number of tricky questions, including, crucially, what is fair to Mr Power but also what is fair to Jersey and to the taxpayer.
Mr Power has been suspended for more than a year. He is now near retirement and, one way or another, will undoubtedly leave Jersey well rewarded for his ultimately disappointing time in the Island. There is, nevertheless, understandable sadness that a dedicated, respected police officer who has given long and distinguished service should find himself in this position at the end of his career.
Depending on one’s point of view, that sympathy will either be diluted or reinforced by the knowledge that Mr Power and Mr Harper co-existed as two sides of a triangular relationship with a weak Home Affairs Minister in former Senator Wendy Kinnard.
From any perspective, though, there is strong evidence that Mr Power has largely brought his troubles on himself through his failure to control Mr Harper. For that reason Deputy Hill, himself a former Metropolitan Police officer of the old school, will have a hard task convincing the States that there would be any overwhelmingly important purpose served by dragging out this whole grim process even further.
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