Sunday, October 17, 2010
It Just Gets Worse
AFFIDAVIT OF ROBERT LEONARD HARPER
In May 2002 I joined the States of Jersey Police as the Head of Operations in the rank of Chief Superintendent. Within a few weeks I realised that local politicians expected a degree of control over day to day operations which no police force in the United Kingdom would have tolerated. My earliest experience of this was finding that the Custody Sergeants of the States Police had no right of charging suspects but had to call in a Centenier of the Parish where the crime was committed, explain the facts to him or her, and ask them to charge the suspect. Centeniers were elected officials in their parishes and members of the Parish Honorary Police. The head of the Honorary Police in each Parish was the Constable or ‘Connetable” who was also a member of the States by virtue of his position. The titular head of the Island’s Honorary Police forces was the Attorney General. Several times early on in my post I had to protest to the Legal Advisors about a refusal to charge in cases where the evidence was overwhelming.
In those early days I also had a number of differences of opinion with the then Deputy Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee who was the Connetable of one of the country parishes. He objected to States of Jersey Police Vehicles driving through his parish on training duties and complained several times that they had answered emergency calls without asking his prior authority to go enter his parish. This was an early foretaste of many battles to come where politicians would seek to control our day to day operational activities.
During my time as a senior officer in the United Kingdom I had become known as someone who, whilst critical of the damage that over- zealous political correctness could do, would not tolerate bullying which caused people to feel uncomfortable at work and in some cases made them ill. I became aware that a small number of officers in the SOJP were making life difficult for others through bullying. A number of the victims came to me personally and I took firm action against the bullies. I will describe a few such examples in order to put into context the response our actions brought from the Jersey establishment.
Shortly after I arrived I held a ‘forum’ for the Constables of the force. I did this in response to complaints from officers that they had never been listened to. Towards the end of the meeting I asked if anyone had anything else to ask. A female officer asked how I would deal with bullying. “Ruthlessly,” I replied.
The woman officer left it at that and I forgot about the exchange until about six weeks later when I was about to fly out from Jersey Airport to the UK. The officer approached me and asked if I remembered her asking the question. We spoke for some time and she relayed a horrific tale of abuse, assault and bullying by a Sergeant in the force against her, which was witnessed on a number of occasions by other senior officers who did nothing. When she complained to one Inspector he told her he understood her situation but if he did anything the Sergeant would “turn on him.” The female officer had eventually gone to a very senior officer who had told her to forget it or her job would be at risk.
I started enquiries and found that her story was corroborated by over a dozen officers. One male officer told how one night shift he was sitting in the Station Office with the Sergeant when the latter produced a 9mm semi automatic pistol. The Sergeant dismantled the firearm and cleaned it. When finished, he assembled it, put the magazine in and cocked the weapon. He then pointed it directly at the male officer’s head for several seconds before lowering it and saying “No, not tonight.” That male officer is still suffering the effects of the bullying by the Sergeant. The female officer concerned has a civil action pending against the force which I do not believe is being contested.
On another occasion, I was approached on behalf of a vulnerable member of staff who had reported a domestic assault on herself. The investigating officer, a long serving detective, had asked her for her mobile phone number and had given her his “in case they needed to contact each other.” A couple of evenings later she received a lengthy series of text messages spread over several hours which started with comments about her physical appearance and what she looked like bending over the photo copier to extremely explicit texts about what the sender would like to do to her. These messages all came from the phone of the investigating officer. After I obtained the transcripts of these messages I challenged the officer. He at first denied it but changed his story. I returned him to uniform but did not discipline him as the victims vulnerable state would have meant that she would have suffered even more from a prolonged drawn out saga.
In another incident, a young Detective Sergeant reported a member of staff for carrying out particularly nasty racial bullying of a Portuguese woman officer. A short time later property belonging to him was vandalised in the CID office. We were told the suspect’s name in confidence by several detectives but had nothing we could use in evidence and no one was forthcoming. The Head of CID, who had also just come from the UK, and myself gathered every detective in the force together and warned them that if there was any repeat of this all of them would be returned to Uniform and we would re build the CID from scratch. We never did have a repeat despite only using local officers in a number of high profile anti corruption investigations which started off as covert operations.
It was clear however, that many Jersey politicians did not approve of our efforts to tackle bullying. We were openly criticised in the media by these people and on one occasion were referred to as the “politically correct KGB stalking the corridors of Police Headquarters.” At the same time however, it was clear that we had the support of the vast majority of the force as was illustrated by what Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary found when they carried out their first inspection during my time there. They found that Graham Power, myself, and John Pearson, had already made many changes which had transformed the force and the morale of its officers. The fact that the leadership style was supported by the rank and file was one of the findings. A second Inspection a few years later was to single out the work that had been done on Professional Standards and the strong leadership which had played a part in turning the force into a professional and innovative organisation.
The first serious test of who decided our operational strategies came over the question of firearms on the island. This was also where I began to discover that the normal rules of law enforcement did not apply in many areas of Jersey life. During the questioning of a man in connection with the unlawful possession of firearms he told officers that the SOJ Police Firearms Clerk, **** ****, have given him information about police activities in relation to himself. Accordingly I arrested **** and searched his home address. At his address I recovered a huge number of firearms lying insecure in a bedroom. These included an RPG7 Rocket Launcher which was later found to have only a minor fault. Among the dozens of other firearms found at his address were some which had been handed into the police for destruction. Lying around the room on the floor next to weapons such as 7.62 rifles, machine guns, and magnum revolvers, was a large quantity of ammunition for these and other weapons. A ‘SEACAT’ Missile Launcher was also taken from his home. **** was eventually convicted of Unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition. Other charges were discontinued following these guilty pleas. He was however convicted at a Discipline Hearing of offences including falsifying police records to show that weapons handed in by the public had been destroyed when in fact they had been retained and sometimes passed to others by him.
Because civilian staff working for the police in Jersey are not Police employees, but are employed by the States, it was the States Human Resources Department who heard the evidence and decided the punishment. They did not dismiss him and we were forced to take him back although we severely curtailed his access to confidential information. Sometime later we received further information that he was again mis-using police information systems. When I challenged him about it he resigned. However, he then started a campaign backed by several prominent members of the Home Affairs Committee (now replaced by Ministers under Ministerial Government) alleging that he had been unfairly dealt with. In 2006 I learnt that he was twenty four hours away from being sworn in as an Honorary Police Officer and I disclosed all of the above to the Attorney General. His swearing in was postponed but I believe took place at a later stage.
As a result of **** arrest I ordered a review of his office and the records kept by him. At this stage I should explain that in Jersey the professional States of Jersey Police are not the firearms licensing authority. This lies with the Head of the Honorary Police in each Parish – the Connetable. The Police Firearms Clerk had the role of carrying out the necessary checks such as Criminal Records to advise the Connetables of any factors which might impact on the granting of firearms certificates. As I will discuss and show later, the Connetable did not have to take these matters into account and in many shocking instances, did not.
It became apparent from the examination of the records that there were hundreds of people in Jersey who were in possession of powerful firearms who had not bothered to renew their firearms certificates. Many of these people where in possession of weapons which were illegal in the United Kingdom. These included High Velocity semi automatic rifles and semi automatic pistols. Faced with the level of law breaking we decided that we would not arrest immediately but instead gave a widely publicised period of several months for people to license their weapons with the warning of strict action if they did not do so.
This was met with a political storm and bitter criticism of our arrogance and of acting at odds with the wishes of the politicians to whom “we were accountable”, including from some members of the Home Affairs Committee. Strenuous attempts were made to intimidate us into not taking action with allegations that we were ‘Brits’ who did not understand the Jersey way of life. I was accused of “trying to turn Jersey into Basingstoke.”
After the period had passed, astonishingly, a large number of people had not bothered to renew their licenses. We started arresting them. Included among them were Police officers, States and Honorary, politicians, lawyers and other prominent members of the Jersey community. Most pleaded guilty and were given small fines by the Magistrate who was to state recently that the States Police had been “out of control for several years now, acting as if they thought they were a politically independent organisation.” He is now the Home Affairs Minister.
At the same time as we were trying to enforce the law, we were trying to discover the extent of the possession of high velocity and semi automatic weapons on the island, as well as to discover the thoroughness or otherwise of the checks and background enquiries made before a certificate was granted for someone to possess weapons such as those. This also caused a furore with one politician in government saying to me “This is not Dunblane sonny.” However, what we discovered made me fear, and I still do, that some day in the future Jersey will fall victim to the type of gun tragedy seen so often in the USA, the UK and elsewhere.
We discovered that over 10,000 firearms were probably held on certificate in Jersey for a population of around 80,000. Six and a half million rounds of ammunition could be held on certificate at any one time. This did not include the stock of firearms dealers. From 2001 to 2006 of 1843 certificates granted, only three had been revoked and only six applications refused. Of the ten registered dealers in Jersey, three of them operated out of private houses.
Four parishes were failing to comply with the law by holding firearms certificate documentation from the States of Jersey Police despite being requested to do so. Disturbingly, no risk assessment process was in place for assessing the applications received for possessing firearms. Home visits were a rarity and arrangements for storing firearms were rarely checked. Three particular cases stand out in my mind.
One man applied for a firearm and ammunition for the purpose of ‘pest control.’ The firearm in question is classified as for the purpose of hunting large game such as elk.
Another family in an outlying parish were known to have twenty high powered and semi automatic weapons in a cellar on their property. They also had thousands of rounds of ammunition. When visited by SOJ Police officers they were also found to have six months supply of tinned food and bottled water. They said they were waiting for word from God. The Connetable refused to revoke the certificate.
One man whom we had found had built up an arsenal of weapons was first granted a certificate in 1985. In 1992 he was convicted of Possessing a Prohibited weapon, supplying controlled drugs and other crimes. In 1993 he tried to purchase a shotgun whilst prohibited by the law. In 1995 intelligence was received that he was supplying controlled drugs. In 1996 he applied for and was granted a new firearms certificate by the Connetable. In 2006 he held the following weapons:
1 x .30 semi automatic carbine*
2 x 7.62 semi automatic rifles*
1 x 7.62 bolt action rifle
1 x .303 bolt action rifle
1 x 5.56 semi automatic rifle* – as used the British Army
5 x .357 Magnum handguns
2 x 9x21 self loading pistol
1 x 9x19 semi automatic carbine* - similar to that used by the Police
1 x Pump action shotgun
2 x Semi automatic shotguns*
1 x .50 revolver **; and
1 x .50 rifle **
183,000 rounds of ammunition for the above weapons
*a semi automatic function allows repeat firing, e.g. over 20 rounds every 10 seconds
** This calibre would require military support to challenge in any criminal use as it is so powerful
Throughout all of this, the States of Jersey Police and we, the senior management team in particular were being heavily criticised in the States for trying to interfere in the Jersey way of life and its culture. Politicians and Parish officials were blocking every attempt to try and introduce some control over the possession of firearms which were illegal everywhere else in the British Isles.
The most serious difficulties with the Criminal Justice system however (before the Historic Abuse Enquiry) arose when we started to deal with the small number of corrupt police officers and staff in the force. It proved impossible to get any prosecutions even when the evidence appeared overwhelming. Things got so bad that I eventually charged one officer with less serious offences which did not need the Attorney General’s authority. Even our efforts here led to constant criticism in the States of wasted money and of not understanding Jersey’s culture. Politicians even met with and assisted corrupt police officers and their dishonest associates to mount high profile campaigns alleging that they had been wrongly treated. There were a number of particularly high profile cases in which the Jersey establishment seemed to treat police corruption as a minor matter which should be left alone. I can enlarge on them all but here will only illustrate with examples.
We arrested the Head of the Information Technology Department and his two most senior members of staff, including the Information Security Officer, following a tip off from within the department that they had used police funds to purchase expensive IT equipment for home use. When we investigated we found that this was correct. They had purchased the equipment with police funds, had it delivered to Police Headquarters, and then taken it home. Enquiries established that they had used the illegally bought equipment to download hundreds of sexually explicit images at home as well as illegal software. Two of them stored nude photos of their wives on the computers. One had lent a computer purchased with police money to a family member to go to University in the UK. Another had also purchased expensive computer audio studio equipment with police funds and had taken it home to further his music hobby. The three were suspended on full pay. We immediately came under attack from politicians who alleged a waste of money and that we were infringing their human rights. No action was taken against them by the Attorney General’s department. Two were eventually disciplined and sacked, the third resigned. However, with the support of politicians they continued to complain that they had been unfairly treated.
A detective officer was found to be selling intelligence to a female informant in return for sex. He admitted the offences. No prosecution was authorised. He resigned before discipline proceedings.
Evidence was found linking one officer with the importation of half a million pounds worth of cannabis onto the island. Amongst other things, a map of the drop site with the location marked was found in his car. Other evidence was found linking him and a female colleague with supplying and possession of drugs. No proceedings were instigated.
There were two cases however which starkly illustrated the problems in dealing with corruption within Jersey, the links between corrupt police officers and politicians, and the organised manner in which efforts to counter corruption where being obstructed. Both of these cases were to impact on the later Historic Abuse Enquiry.
The first was the case of a Special Branch Detective **** ****.
In late 2004 and early 2005 intelligence was received that ****, a Detective Constable in Special Branch, was linked to the criminal fraternity and may have passed information from police systems to criminal gangs operating in Jersey. This was in addition to numerous informal reports that, over a period of years in Special Branch and other departments, **** had indulged in a number of sexual relationships outside of his marriage, some of them in police time and some of them with females linked to crime. What was of particular concern about his extra marital activities was that his post in Special Branch gave him access to ‘Secret’ and ‘Top Secret’ material relating to domestic and international terrorism. He was also a member and a trainer in our covert surveillance team. This caused some concern in respect of the company he was keeping and his vulnerability to pressure.
Early investigations through telephone billing showed that ***** was linked to a woman with serious crime connections by the name of **** ****. Consequently I authorised a series of evidential covert surveillance, both intrusive and non intrusive as part of the operation. Among the measures I authorised were video surveillance in the hall just outside the SB office, and then in the office itself. I authorised listening devices in his private vehicle, in the Special Branch vehicle, and in the SB offices at the Harbour and Airport.
It soon became apparent that **** was involved in extra marital affairs with a number of women, two of which became the subject of criminal and Discipline investigations. These were his relationships with **** ****, and **** **** (a foreign national). It emerged during the investigation that he had passed secret information to **** about a terrorist investigation, revealing to her that three people were in custody when no one knew about the arrests. This could have had severe consequences for the operation and indeed, for the security of the island. It also transpired during the investigation that he had allowed **** into a restricted Special Branch Office on more than one occasion and that during one of these visits she gave him a massage. He and she were also seen on camera kissing and embracing before she was seen to spend some time examining confidential police files, some of which related to international terrorism. He was also recorded on another occasion divulging almost the whole of a Confidential Criminal Intelligence Report on a local criminal to his wife and brother, with the intention of having it revealed to the subject of the report. This was obtained from the listening device in his car and was evidential.
A criminal file was submitted to the Attorney General. Despite the evidence he refused to prosecute. One of the reasons given was that police officers did not come within the Official Secrets Act. This seems strange when one considers the enquiry, which I will refer to later, about the leaking of a memo from me (critical of the AG) and which witnesses have been told is an Official Secrets Act enquiry. (A number of UK journalists and a prominent Jersey politician have approached me and told me that they have been asked to implicate me in the leaking of the document.) The Attorney General’s decision caused consternation throughout the force as ***** activities were well known and it was recognised that this would make the job of tackling corruption even more difficult. There was to be a further dimension later when **** actively tried to discredit the Historic Abuse Enquiry, but I will cover that in more detail later. **** was disciplined and on 20th April 2006. He appeared before the Chief Officer, pleading Guilty to the following eleven discipline charges.
Breach of Confidentiality – where he passed secret information on by text to **** about the detention of three terrorist suspects in Jersey. *** was not only having a sexual relationship with ***** but was a convicted criminal and a close associate of drug dealing gangs. This was an ongoing investigation and these suspects were in custody when he revealed details to her. The consequences of that could have been far reaching for the investigation and the island.
Breach of Confidentiality – caught on a recording device passing on the content of a confidential Police intelligence report to his brother and wife with the intention of it being passed to the subject of the report.
General Conduct - having an improper relationship with a woman (****) with close criminal contacts - they were both seen by officers in the same locations. She admitted the sexual relationship, and in six months there were a total of fifty calls between them on their mobile phones. Examination of text messages between the two showed the use of pet names such as “hun” and “kisses” on some messages.
Breach of Confidentiality - allowing a member of the public (**** ****) into the Restricted Special Branch office. They were caught on a camera which was placed outside the office.
As Number 4. On this occasion the video was inside the office and she was seen to give him a massage, they were seen to kiss and embrace, and she was seen wandering around the office reading notices, documents on walls and notice boards and to examine documents in trays and on desks. These documents related to police and security matters, among them documents on domestic and international terrorism. She spent over half an hour in the office.
General Conduct – this relates to them kissing and embracing in the SB office.
General Conduct – relating to him being in possession of a number of police documents, some considered “secret” at his home address. One such document contained the full personal details of a man he had contact with who was a potential agent for the police or British Intelligence in Northern Ireland. If this document had fallen into the wrong hands it could have had fatal consequences for the subject.
Having at home, a copy of a custody record relating to a friend of his who had been arrested. **** was not involved in the case. He refused to give any explanation.
Mis-handling of exhibits which were found in his possession.
Performance of Duties – various unauthorised absences from work.
Using States of Jersey Police information systems for his own personal business on frequent occasions.
He was ordered to resign as an alternative to dismissal.
In June 2006 **** approached the Jersey Evening Post and told them that he had voluntarily resigned because he had been badly treated over ‘procedural mistakes.” The paper, which has well known and established links with the Government and in particular the Chief Minister at the time, published a joint article with **** ****, an ex officer who resigned when he was facing a catalogue of discipline offences relating to his use of drugs, the making of pornographic videos featuring him and a serving female officer (which he left for his wife to see,) his involvement in the importation by air of half a million pounds worth of cannabis (a crime which was solved by the Professional Standards Department) and falsely claiming to be sick when in fact he was drinking in a pub. Two politicians who were to be instrumental in persuading the Attorney General to prevent us later charging a corrupt businessman (**** ****) in another police corruption enquiry were among those who gave very public support to him. In a further display of the links between all of these matters, the businessman mentioned above and his sister were extremely active in trying to discredit the Historic Abuse Enquiry and smear the officers involved. They became involved in another Professional Standards Investigation in respect of corrupt activities surrounding towing services.
The first intelligence in respect of this came from a member of the Fire Brigade Staff who told police that two police officers were in a corrupt relationship with **** **** a local towing contractor.
On 30th March 2005, **** **** of No 1 Recovery Company told Professional Standards that two police officers were getting petrol free of charge or cheaply from ****. He identified one of them as “****” (Constable **** ****). He alleged that this was in return for corrupt manipulation of the breakdown call out rota system.
The enquiry was stepped up a day later --on 31 March 2005 when information was received from two local members of the public, one of them a member of the legal profession, and another who worked for one of the other Vehicle Recovery Companies. The former alleged to Professional Standards that she had seen Constable **** ***** drawing diesel for his vehicle from the petrol pumps at **** ****s place of business. She was aware that **** was one of the Towing contractors who provided a service to the police, and that he was not licensed to sell diesel. The witness was suspicious of the fact that a police officer was obtaining fuel for his private vehicle from **** pumps.
The second witness supplied information to the effect that calls from the police which should have gone to the other recovery firms were in fact going to ****
On 31 March, police spoke to another witness called *****, who had been at an accident where a driver wanted to call another breakdown firm, but the police officers had tried to insist on **** being called. He told police that he knew of other people who had been told by police officers that they used *** **** even when they didn’t have to.
A check was made of the record of call outs and it was found that whereas there were three main operators looking for police business, **** was at times, getting nearly 90% of that business. An instruction was made that the rota should be adhered to and each of the three contractors called out in turn.
In October 2005, allegations were received from the two other main contractors on the island that they were being unfairly disadvantaged by virtue of the fact that they were getting little business from the States of Jersey Police. They again alleged that this was due to a corrupt relationship between two police officers and Mr ****. They again named one of the two police officers as Constable **** ***. They alleged that the officers received cheap or free diesel for their private vehicles, were given the use of four digit number plates, and that both officers had been to ***** villa in Spain free of charge.
The investigation was recommenced, and the records of who police called out in respect of breakdowns were checked once more. It was found that despite the previous warning, **** still received over 90% of the call outs. An instruction was issued ordering officers to adhere to the strict rotation policy which was in place. A covert investigation was launched but was curtailed shortly afterwards when the member of the public referred to in para. 2, fell out with her employer and went to work for *** **** Shortly after that, police were told by her ex-employer **** ****of No. 1 Recovery, that she had warned **** the police were looking at him and his police friends.
In November 2005, a further complaint was received from the two contractors stating that they were being driven out of business by virtue of the fact that **** was still getting almost all of the calls. Police records confirmed this, and investigations revealed that the system was being manipulated by some officers going to accidents and breakdowns and calling ***** on their private mobile phones. They were then falsely entering on official records that the member of the public had called **** themselves. The most regular offender was Constable **** ****.
Enquiries continued, and it became clear that **** was friendly with a number of police officers. Information was also received that many officers had received free services from him in clear breach of integrity guidelines and policies. These services included free holidays at his villa in Spain, the towing of vehicles, and on a couple of occasions, the towing of boats back from France. I took a decision however, that because of the different attitudes to this behaviour by previous senior officers now retired, and where officers might have had no corrupt intent, they should be given the opportunity to reveal such transgressions without fear of penalty. Accordingly, DI Alan Aubert, Head of PSD, sent out an e mail to all personnel requesting that any person who had been in receipt of items such as free holidays, use of his Spanish Villa, or towing services should declare them. This was sent out on 24th May 2006. It was followed by the same declaration in force orders on 7th June, and the deadline was set for the 18th June.
All in all, sixteen or more officers came forward, including one of the officers who was a suspect along with ****. They were all offered immunity from discipline, although not from criminal proceedings. The officer who was an initial suspect with **** made full admissions and gave a statement of his knowledge of other officers’ dealings with ****. There was no evidence of criminal offences in relation to him. O did not come forward.
Officers who had worked with **** gave statements saying that **** and B had enjoyed a close relationship, with ***** giving free loan of various vehicles to****, together with the supply of various services. They had also exchanged vehicle plates and registrations, some of which were later to be the subject of criminal proceedings as **** had checked these on the police systems. ***** had bought vehicles off ****which had been recovered in the course of their work and joint misuse of the police systems and procedures.
In an attempt to make the breakdown call out system fairer and to reduce our vulnerability to allegations of corruption, I gave orders that in future all tow companies were to be called out in strict rotation and that it had to be through the Force Control Room. I then found out that in order to circumvent this instruction, **** was using his mobile phone to call ****. I ordered that this was to cease.
On a number of occasions we were able to see from billing on ****’s mobile phone that he had contravened this instruction and had called **** to the scene of incidents on his mobile. This included instances where he did not tell the FCR that there was a need for a tow away, and even occasions where he told lies to the Control Room by stating that no tow truck was called when he had brought **** out by means of his mobile phone. Members of the public gave evidence confirming this. On occasions he made false entries in police documents to this effect.
On one occasion O was recorded telling B to submit “fucking silly bills.” This was on an evidential audio source.
A file was submitted to the Attorney General seeking the prosecution of O and B for Bribery and Corruption. However, the new corruption laws, which would have made a prosecution much easier, were not in place, and no case was brought. I however, then decided to prosecute O for a number of less serious offences for which the Attorney General’s authority was not needed. O was charged with offences of Misuse of Computers, and was convicted of five such charges in the Magistrates court, including one where he publicly labelled an innocent member of the public as a drink driver in order to try and escape the charge. A police officer who gave evidence on his behalf but who was forced to retract her evidence in court as “an error” was given words of advice for poor judgement. O is now a convicted ex police officer.
A post script to this is that a female police employee whom O was having an extra marital affair with pleaded guilty at a Discipline Hearing to carrying out unauthorised and improper checks on the police computers at the request of O.
B gave evidence on behalf of O but admitted in the witness box, under oath, that he had asked his friend O to carry out illegal checks of vehicles on the police computer systems. A few days later he approached another police officer and made admissions of a similar nature.
Authority was sought to charge B with inciting a police officer (O) to carry out improper checks and disclose information from the police intelligence systems. This authority was granted by Mr Laurence O’Donnell, a Legal Advisor working at Police Headquarters, although one of the Attorney General’s staff. Arrangements were made to do so.
Thirty minutes before B was due to be charged, the Attorney General ordered that he should not be. It emerged that he had been visited by two politicians who had connections with the case who asked him to stop the charging. These were Deputy Sarah Ferguson and Deputy Colin Egre. Both of these politicians were associates of B and both had served in the Honorary Police with him. Both had met with him, ****, and other corrupt ex officers frequently and with them had conducted a high profile media campaign to stop the Professional Standards anti corruption enquiries. Ferguson and Egre have recently publicly admitted their roles in this saga.
I challenged the Law Officers Department about this turn around and the effect it would have on our efforts to combat corruption. I was told by Laurence O’Donnell that the Attorney General merely wanted to review the evidence and would come back to me in a few days. I questioned the need for the AG to take this unusual step when one of his most senior lawyers had already given authority to charge. The days turned into weeks without word from the Attorney General.
Several weeks later, at the beginning of March 2008 I e-mailed Laurence O’Donnell and asked him what the current situation was with the AG’s considerations in respect of B. I know that Laurence immediately forwarded my e mail to the AG. I did not even receive an acknowledgement.
On Saturday -29th March 2008 I sent another e mail to Laurence O’Donnell in which I told him that I had received a query from the Guernsey Press about B. I told Laurence that the media were asking about the charges against B and the fact that politicians had intervened in his charging. I said that I had confirmed that he had admitted under oath in open court that he had instigated a search of police systems by a convicted cop and that we had the transcript. I confirmed that following advice from the Law Officers we were within a short time of charging him. I told Laurence that I had confirmed to the media that B was not charged on the instructions of the Attorney General and that this followed a visit from two politicians who were close to Bt. I confirmed that the AG had not been back to us. I told Laurence that the media were preparing a story and were linking it to the allegations of interference with police operations. I told him I felt I had no choice but to confirm what I did or I would have been misleading them.
On the morning of Monday 31st March 2008 I received instructions from Laurence O’Donnell that the AG had given us the authority to charge B. At a meeting with the AG in the presence of my Chief Officer, I asked the AG why he had not got back to us until the media intervened. He replied, “I forgot about it.” From charge until August 2008, B was granted a number of adjournments at court for rather unusual and surprising reasons. As widely predicted, a few days after I left the island on retirement all charges were dropped against him and he was awarded costs.
During this enquiry, B wrote dozens and dozens of abusive letters which he has sent either to me or to others about me. They were sent to the media, to politicians, and included mention of my home and car being firebombed, and many letters circulated widely by him accusing me of lying and of having “a sick and twisted mind.” Throughout this he continued to be strongly supported by a number of Jersey politicians. I was accused of breaching his human rights. He, ****, and three other corrupt ex officers made formal complaints which have all so far been found to be vexatious or unsubstantiated. The one exception is the complaint by B which because of the drawn out legal action has not finished yet.
It was sometime around this period, that the Chief Officer Graham Power, so alarmed at the overt attempts to control our operational activities, took advice from HMIC, and, I believe, another Chief Constable of one of the off shore islands.
An interesting postscript to this was the overwhelming support of many involved in that commercial area in Jersey. One example was a letter from the Managing Director of ‘Bel Royal Motors’ who thanked me for the action I had taken over the accident recovery services. He said that the system was now much fairer and that because it was now done on customer satisfaction and quality, companies like his could benefit.
Another one of the group who complained about me and who was active in the meetings with B, ****, and the politicians above, is a former police officer and civilian member of staff by the name of **** ****. He is a man who was forced to resign from the service for making Racist remarks to a Portuguese police officer, having already had a record of inappropriate comments to colleagues. At the time this occurred I was Head of Operations and had no part whatsoever in the discipline proceedings which followed. These were dealt with by my predecessor. The only connection that I had to this case came about because the detective officer who had the courage to report him had his property vandalized in the CID office. I, together with the then Superintendent Pearson, gathered the whole of the CID together and warned them that if there was one more incident of this nature we would send every one of them back to uniform and rebuild the CID from scratch. Other than that I had only one further connection with this man. This was when he went to the Jersey Evening Post at the time when B and ****, together with Deputies Ferguson and Egre were trying to drum up publicity for their malicious complaints. ****, for some bizarre reason told the JEP that I was involved in his “unjustified sacking.” He then handed over the whole file of his case to the newspaper, including, inadvertently I presume, the record of his previous discipline matters which contained details of his previous inappropriate behaviour. I think that I issued a press statement of a fairly bland nature which drew attention to the fact that he himself had delivered documents describing his record of racist behaviour to the press. Other than this, I was not involved with in any way with the case of R.
Although I will cover the Abuse enquiry in detail below, it is worth noting that shortly after we went public with it, the sister of B sent letters and e mails to most of the news desks of British newspapers rubbishing the investigation and trying to smear me, stating that I was “guilty of abuse.”
For some time, Legal Advisor Laurence O’Donnell and I had been concerned at the difficulty in prosecuting paedophiles in cases of historic abuse. This had been exacerbated by difficulties over the case of **** ****, who was the commanding officer of the Jersey Sea Cadets and who was also a senior civil servant in the Chief Minister’s office. He was arrested as part of the national “Operation Ore” where the FBI had netted thousands of suspects who had used their credit cards to pay for internet sites involving child pornography. He was one of a number of senior Sea Cadet officers arrested for serious sexual crimes against children. After his arrest he had not been suspended from Sea Cadet activities and because of my concerns for the safety of the children involved, I disclosed the information about his arrest to the Sea Cadet authorities. Among the sites he had searched on his computer were a number involving “naked sea cadets” and other child pornography sites. The Sea Cadet authorities in Jersey were not responsive, telling me that a man “is innocent until proven guilty.” I eventually had to go to London and threaten to stand at the gates of the Sea Cadet HQ and disclose to individual parents before they took action.
The concerns led us in 2006 to start looking at cases which had been brought. Early on I became worried about one case where a retired senior police officer (Chief Inspector ****) was implicated in passing information to paedophiles about a police investigation but did not appear to have been interviewed. It appeared that billing had been carried out on his telephones but had revealed nothing further. I was still uneasy and asked the investigating officer why **** had not even been interviewed. She told me that she had been instructed not to by the then head of CID, Chief Inspector ****. This was even more of a concern than it would have normally been as the Head of CID was also an officer in the Jersey Sea Cadets. That concern was heightened even more when I discovered that the suspect’s phone that had been billed was actually his wife’s phone. There was no mention of this fact anywhere in the police documentation. The investigating officers denied knowledge of that fact. I was told by the senior officer concerned that no phone could be found for ****. Within twenty minutes of starting enquiries I had traced a phone to him and found that it was the phone he had when he left the force and in fact it had been given to him as a retirement present.
Word was seeping out around the force of our interest and two officers came to see me. One of them told me of problems he had with the same senior officer (****) in an enquiry he was carrying out at Victoria College. I received a report from him in which he stated that he was one of the investigating officers in the case against a man called Jervis Dykes who was a teacher at Victoria College. Allegations were being made against Dykes that he abused children whilst on outings of the Combined Cadet Force (Naval Section) or on sailing trips around Jersey and to Greece. Dykes was later convicted of a number of indecency offences.
The officer told me that he tried to make enquiries at St Helier Yacht Club as it was alleged that Dykes took the boys there. However, he was prevented from doing so by the then CI **** who told the detective that he was not to attend the club without de la Haye going with him. When the detective went to the club with de la Haye he was not allowed to see the club register but had dates read out to him by the Chief Inspector.
The Club Secretary however arranged for the detective to see the register without CI **** being present and the detective discovered that a group of senior officers including ****attended the club frequently when Dykes was there with students.
The officer remembers being under great pressure to drop the case involving Victoria College as it was doing harm to the reputation of the institution. He remembers receiving threats that his career would be damaged. He recalls also that exhibits were going missing, resulting in them having to be locked away in the Detective Inspector’s safe.
The Detective also remembered interviewing the Deputy Headmaster and being told by the Deputy Head that Dykes had assaulted the boys as “payment for the time he provided in taking the boys sailing.” The officer also revealed that one of his supervisors was a close personal friend of the Deputy Head. Another officer remembers that this supervisor had at least one child at the college.
Despite the fact that the investigation was escalating, the Detective was removed from the team and returned to normal duties.
A second officer came to see me and informed me that a year before he had submitted a report to the Head of CID, CI **** **** in which he had requested that a historic abuse enquiry should be launched into the former care home at Haut de la Garenne. This was in response to the large number of allegations which had been made to him by former residents that they had been abused whilst in the home. The report was submitted to who was the officer who had prevented **** **** from being interviewed as mentioned earlier but nothing had ever materialised and he had heard nothing. Eventually an enquiry was carried out by South Yorkshire Police into the allegations against the Head of CID but it was still pending when I retired.
Eventually it was decided that we should go public with the enquiry and we did so in mid November 2007. For some time before that there had been a political controversy raging on the island over the fact that the Health Minister, Senator Stuart Syvret, was trying to draw attention to abuse of children within the Jersey Care System. He was eventually dismissed from the government as a direct result of his efforts. Although we were aware that we had evidence which supported what he was saying, we could not disclose to him. However the day before we were due to go public we heard that a BBC television crew were on way to the island to make a documentary in which they would be speaking to Senator Syvret and some victims. We decided to brief him on the enquiry, both to make him aware of the need not to say anything which might endanger our investigation, but also to seek his assistance.
The next morning we issued our press release, informing the public of our investigation and appealing for victims and witnesses to come forward. I sent both Senator Syvret and the Chief Minister a copy of our Press Release in advance. A few hours after the Press Conference I was summoned to the Chief Minister’s Office. He attempted to admonish me for talking to Senator Syvret. I explained my reasons. He instructed me to remove the word ‘victims’ from my press releases as they were not victims “until someone was convicted.” I refused to do so and was supported in this by the Home Affairs Minister who was present at the meeting. I was then asked by either the Chief Minister or Bill Ogley, his Chief Executive, if I realised that this investigation “could bring down the government.” I replied that his was not my problem - it was a police investigation and “it would have to remain as such.”
The response to the initial press appeal was overwhelming. We had enlisted the aid of the NSPCC in the UK as victims had made it clear they would not co-operate with the enquiry if there was any involvement of the Jersey “caring agencies.” The NSPCC said it was the largest response they had ever had to one of these appeals. However, it became clear that there were people in Jersey who did not want the enquiry. A few days following the summons to the Chief Minister’s office, I was contacted by several journalists in London, and told that they and others had received letters or e mails from a woman who turned out to be the sister of R B, the corrupt towing contractor mentioned earlier in this document. She warned the recipients not to trust me and that I was “guilty of abuse.” At the same time Senator Stuart Syvret, contacted me to tell me that **** ****, the former Special Branch Detective, had telephoned him with a similar message.
As regards the enquiry, we were getting some disturbing information from some of the victims. Two said they had knowledge of human remains at the site but could not be specific. Several said they had witnessed children being dragged from their beds and who were not seen again. One witness described seeing a resident being chased along a top floor and then saw the girl leap out of the window. The children were all ushered away at that point.
A local advocate came to us and told us that he had a client who had seen a body at the home, although he did not want to be identified at that time.
All of this information gave us a dilemma. There was not enough concrete evidence to go into Haut de la Garenne and start digging the location up. However, there was just enough to make it impossible for us to ignore. If we did, and something was discovered later, it is easy to imagine the criticism we would face. Furthermore, it was just not conceivable that we should ignore what the victims were telling us. Accordingly, I arranged to go to the United Kingdom where I met with a number of experts to discuss the way forward. I also went to London and consulted with the Head of the National Policing Improvement who agreed to provide assistance.
On 5th February 2008, I went to the offices of LGC Forensics in Oxford. I was accompanied by our Head of Forensic Services and our Operational Security Officer. Also at the meeting were a Forensic Archaeologist who had once been a Scenes of Crime Officer, an Anthropologist, Homicide Search Experts and advisors from the National Policing Improvement Agency, and a canine consultancy agency. A briefing was distributed which had been prepared by Karl Harrison, lead scientist at LGC, and was a desk based study of the HDLG site.
After discussion the meeting decided that the way forward would be for a screening of the site to be carried out. This would establish whether or not there was any justification for further work or excavation at the location. It was envisaged this would take three to four days.
On 19th February this screening process started with a team attending HDLG. Present were myself, the Forensic Services Manager, NPIA Homicide Search Advisors, and LGC Forensic staff representing Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology.
What happened next is well documented. I have attached at the end of this affidavit, a document prepared by myself and my team which describes in great detail actions taken and the reasons and justification for them. It is important because it puts in context what we did and shows the step by step evidence based approach we adopted. It gives the lie to the allegations widely circulated by Jersey Government Ministers that our enquiry team simply went in and dug up HDLG at massive cost with no justification and on the word of “a few unreliable people.” This was a phrase used by a Jersey Government Minister (another government minister described them as “disturbed people with criminal records”) and, astonishingly, by a senior Metropolitan Police Officer who was asked by the current leadership of the force to provide a report on the enquiry. He used this phrase when he eventually came to interview me. I will deal with this in more detail below.
At the same time as we were working at HDLG evidence was building up from victims of the volume of sexual and physical abuse which went on at the former home. I now felt that we had sufficient evidence to charge the first suspect and I received the go ahead to do so from the Legal Advisors. However, as in the B case, shortly before the man was due to be charged, the Attorney General instructed Laurence O’Donnell to tell me not to charge. Unfortunately, there was a “misunderstanding” between Laurence and myself and the charge went ahead. The man is still awaiting trial.
The Attorney General had appointed lawyers to work on the case and advise us. The two lawyers concerned were one who had worked for many years at the AG’s office, and another who carried out much of the Attorney General’s financial crime work. After negotiation, I agreed that before charging any suspects I would let them have the completed file. They undertook to get the file back to us in a matter of a few days. It did not evolve in that way.
Some months later, the Attorney General tried to force me to have a lawyer appointed by him actually based in our incident room. I refused, as this would have meant him having access to all our raw intelligence and information. Whilst I was happy to work closely with lawyers I felt that in these circumstances where we were frequently receiving allegations of cover up and failure to deal properly with cases by the authorities, having one of the AG’s lawyers actually sitting in our incident room looking at all our information and intelligence before it got anywhere near a prosecution file, would seriously undermine our credibility with the victims, and gave rise to fears that they would be let down again. We reached a compromise where I agreed that the AG would supply an “independent, specialist child abuse lawyer” from the UK who would be based in an office in Police Headquarters and who would have access to officers in cases and vice versa. All files would go to him and he would turn them around quickly with advice on charging. Again, the reality was different.
The lawyer appointed was a man called Simon Thomas from London. He came from the chambers which did a lot of the Attorney General’s financial crime work. He was not a specialist child abuse lawyer although he said one of the female lawyers who worked with him was. On a personal basis I related well with him but the delays in even simple matters and the difficulty in reaching him was to cause great frustration to my team as he seemed to spend most of his time in the UK. This was to come to a head later in the ‘B***’ case.
Complaints were coming to us from victims all over the world. A number of victims who had previously reported abuse and who felt that the system had let them down by failing to prosecute also contacted us. One such case was that of the Maguire’s.
In 1997 allegations of sexual and physical abuse were made against Alan and Jane Maguire by a number of young men and women who had been children in their care at a Jersey home in the 1980’s. The Maguire’s were interviewed in January 1998 although no questions about the allegations of sexual abuse were put to them. They were both charged with a number of assault charges including Grave and Criminal Assault on children. They pleaded not guilty.
At a subsequent stage it was agreed between the Legal Advisors and the defence that documents going to the court would have all references to sexual abuse removed from them. (Consequently when we started examining the file we knew nothing of any allegations of sexual abuse.)
The committal took place in June 1998. Evidence was given by a number of victims. During the evidence of one of them, Alan Maguire apparently took ill. The Magistrate decided that there was a case to answer and committed the case to the Royal Court. At about this time a member of the Jersey Caring Agencies gave a statement to police saying she had reported her concerns about the child care practices of the Maguires in the early 1990’s.
Four months after the committal to the Royal Court by the Magistrate, the Police Legal Advisor sent a memo to the Attorney General expressing his concern over the way the Magistrate had handled the Committal and mentions that Maguire may be terminally ill. He states in the memo that compassion might be a reason to abandon the prosecution. The Attorney General then in November declares he is discontinuing the case because of insufficient evidence, despite the Magistrate’s committal to the Royal Court.
In February 1999, Jersey’s Mental Health Manager completed an internal enquiry into the behaviour of Mrs Maguire. He concluded that on his own investigation and that of the police there was sufficient evidence to show that Mrs Maguire whilst employed at the care home had inflicted and allowed severe physical punishment on children, had inflicted and allowed physical abuse, and had inflicted and allowed psychological abuse on the children in her care. He recommended her dismissal. In June 1999, the Maguires moved to France.
I had a pair of officers look at the Maguire file again and they started to re-interview witnesses. During that process, we discovered the fact that allegations of sexual abuse had also been made in 1997, but had not been proceeded with as part of the investigation. The officers also obtained new evidence of sexual abuse and eventually in April 2008, a file was submitted to Simon Taylor the lawyer acting on the Attorney General’s behalf in our investigation.
Meanwhile at the end of March 2008, Panorama broadcast a programme in which they ‘door stepped ‘Alan Maguire in France and put allegations of abuse to them. He reacted quite aggressively and appeared in good health with no obvious signs of the terminal illness he apparently was suffering from ten years before. It is a fact that when I left we had not managed to trace the source of the information about him being terminally ill.
On 20th May the investigating officers and their supervisor attended a meeting with Simon Thomas to discuss the evidence. I was told by one of the original two lawyers that he was working with Simon Thomas on the case and they had about one and a half days work left before they would raise indictments to begin the extradition process.
Several days later I was told by Simon Thomas that there were problems surrounding the process of the intended extradition in respect of whether we could extradite for the old matters as well as the new. To quicken things up I spoke to the lawyer in Jersey who had drafted the law as well as a CPS lawyer in London who was their expert on extradition. I passed the information onto Simon Thomas.
Meantime, the investigating officers were having some difficulty in getting replies to e mails they were sending Simon Thomas, on one occasion having to send three requests for information.
In the middle of June we were informed that the Attorney General had asked for a full report on the “constitutional and legal implications” of extraditing the Maguires from France. I challenged the lawyers on the need for this as extradition from France was not new and it would cause further delay and consternation for our victims. On 18th June I received an e mail from the Crown Advocate undertaking to furnish the Attorney General with the requested report within seven days. I passed this e mail to the detective investigating.
On the 26th June, eight days later, the Investigating Officer asked the lawyer what the AG’s advice was. The following day Simon Thomas telephoned to say that it had not gone to the AG yet but it would be going soon. He also said that the investigators would not get a copy of the advice to the AG.
The Investigating Officers then came into possession of more documentation from an advocate asked by the AG to review the Maguire case following the committal to the Royal Court. He gave a number of reasons why the case should be discontinued including the fact that Maguire was terminally ill. I am aware that the Attorney General has stated several times that the only reason was evidential and that this was supported by the Advocate concerned. However, I know this is not entirely accurate. That advocate on at least three of the charges either said that there was a prima facie case or that there was evidence to discredit the defendant. Furthermore, the reason for ‘lack of evidence’ on most of the others was either that it was on eye-witness account of witnesses as opposed to victims, or the victims were uncorroborated. The Magistrates ruling seems to have been summarily dismissed. The Advocate, like the Attorney General’s Legal Advisor makes a firm mention of Maguire’s apparent terminal illness. As I have said however, the AG denies that the decision was based on anything other than the evidence.
On the 29th July the Investigating detective met with Simon Thomas. Simon stated that the AG wanted to clarify that the decision to drop the charges against the Maguires was based purely on evidential standards. Police criticism of the fact that too much weight was placed on the purported terminal illness of Maguire was ill founded. Documents held by the Enquiry Team giving this impression were “badly worded,” and the Attorney General wanted to confirm that the decision was not public interest based. He also said that criticism from the police that there was no meeting between the police, Childrens’ services and the lawyers before the decision was made was incorrect. The AG said a meeting did take place. (However, the recollection of police officers and social workers concerned was that they were only told after the decision was made.) There was still no update on a decision from the Attorney General.
A week or so before I retired in August, the Attorney General informed us that he wanted to take the advice of a QC in the United Kingdom, but that particular person was unavailable and would not be so for some time. I heard nothing else after that. As far as I am aware, no further action has occurred in respect of the Maguires.
Another case which led to problems with the lawyers was that of the B*****. We had firm evidence from a number of victims and witnesses that they had beaten children about the head with cricket bats. In accordance with agreed procedure we sent the file to Simon Thomas. After a delay, he told four of my officers that we should charge the B***** with Grave and Criminal Assault– not the Jersey equivalent of Common Assault as first mooted, subject of course to any dramatic developments in interview. The B**** were accordingly arrested early morning of the 24th June.
Nothing untoward happened during the period of custody. The female suspect feigned illness but the doctor saw through it and declared her fit for interview. At 5pm Simon Thomas telephoned the officers and told them he had changed his mind – they should not now be charged. The officers were extremely frustrated. I spoke to Simon who was sitting on a railway station platform in the North of England. The conversation was interrupted every few minutes because of trains going past. Simon said he had revised his opinion because of new evidence. I asked what that was and he gave me three things.
Firstly, the woman was unwell. I explained that this was not the case and that the doctor was happy for us to continue.
Secondly, he said that he was aware a witness by the name of ****had telephoned the Custody Sergeant and told him that we had made a mistake. I pointed out that **** had already made a statement which Simon had seen and read. ****** had added nothing new.
Thirdly, the B****’ children had telephoned and said that their parents were good people and that they, (the children) were flying to Jersey. I asked Simon how that was new evidence as opposed to character evidence. Simon replied that they might have evidence relevant to the allegation.
Simon then said that he needed to speak to his two colleagues in Jersey. He did so and telephoned back to say they agreed with him and that they wanted to see the interviews before we charged. I then said that it all made our arrangement pretty worthless, as he was supposed to tell us the charges. He then said he could not do that as things might change on interview. I pointed out that he had met my Deputy and other officers and that he had discussed the charges with them and told them to charge with Grave and Criminal Assault. He denied this. I said that this was not their recollection. I told him the effect that this would have on the victims and said I was not having the Enquiry team blamed for this. He finished by saying that operationally he could not tell me whether to ask the Honorary Police to charge or not.
In the circumstances I decided to call the Centenier into Police Headquarters to charge the couple. The Centenier came, spent over an hour reading the evidence then declared that although there was sufficient evidence to charge he could not go against the lawyer’s advice.
Accordingly I issued a Press Release in which I stated that following consultation with the lawyer appointed by the Attorney General, two people were arrested by the enquiry team in respect of three Grave and Criminal Assaults. I went on to say that” at 5pm, the lawyer revised his advice. Following discussion a Centenier was asked to attend and charge the suspects. Despite stating that the evidence was present, the Centenier declined to charge. The States of Jersey Police have no alternative but to release the suspects without charge.”
Immediately on their release, victims started to ring the NSPCC staff working with us. A typical comment was, “it is happening all over again. It is a cover up.”
The following day, the Attorney General ordered us to say nothing further to the media and demanded a report from me as to why I had released the press statement. I submitted the report detailing the chain of what I saw as shortcomings in the service we had received from his office. This report has already been served on the court but I attach a copy of it as Appendix 2.
There have been other aspects surrounding this enquiry which I have found extremely disturbing. Shortly after the investigation went public, Senator Syvret warned me that I should beware of the activities of the Honorary Police and stated that he feared they might instigate some form of retaliation on him. Prior to this, I had been stopped once by them in five years. Within a month of the enquiry going public I had been stopped four times. On no occasion did I produce my warrant card or state who I was, as the HP made it clear they wanted to check if I had been drinking and to examine my brakes and lights. I did however become wary of the frequency with which this was occurring, and started using my wife’s car for a week or so. I was not stopped in it. The next time I used my own car I was again stopped. This time, I was told by the Honorary Officer that it was “their usual checks.” On this occasion there was no mention of drinking or lights, so I assumed it was an identity and vehicle ownership check. Accordingly, I produced my warrant card, although the honorary Officer did not use a torch and could not have read it or seen the photo, only the badge. He said, “Ah, right. But I would still like to check your lights, indicators, and brake lights.” I immediately pocketed my warrant card and told him that was no problem at all. The checks were carried out, there was an exchange of polite pleasantries and I went on my way. There was no indication that he recognised me and in the darkness I did not see his face.
On the 27th December I received a letter from the Attorney General (the Titular Head of the HP), to say that a member of the Honorary force had written to make a complaint about my inappropriate use of my warrant card. The AG went on to say that it was alleged that I was told that the HP wanted to check my lights. I then produced a warrant card with my name on it. The AG said that police rules laid out the proper use of a warrant card. However, he went on to say that he was not treating it as a complaint against the police because the Honorary Officer was on duty. The AG added that this had caused a sufficient stir within the lower ranks of the Honorary Police, so much so that a formal complaint was made. He added that for the purpose of securing good relations with the Honorary Force I might be willing to write to him appropriately and he would copy it to the complainant.
I did respond to him, by letter and e mail. I outlined the facts as above, including the impossibility of him seeing my name on the warrant card. I told him that he was being misled and that I was well aware of the rules regarding warrant card use, and that a means of identity was one of those uses. I told him of the series of stops, and the lack of them when I used my wife’s car. I told him this could not have been a mistake, this was a deliberate attempt to smear me. I also questioned his statement that this had caused a stir among the lower ranks of the Honorary Police and asked why details of my stop were being bandied about. I pointed out although the HP officer was on duty, I was not, and therefore would like to ask about making a formal complaint. I also requested the record of the stop, the reasons for him discussing it with others, and why he should suddenly have had a problem after I left.
To this day I have not had an acknowledgement from the Attorney General.
In November 2008, three months after my retirement, the new SIO, Superintendent Michael Gradwell and my replacement as Deputy Chief, David Warcup, gave a press conference in which they totally misrepresented what I had been saying for some months. They stated that contrary to the impression I had given to the media, there was no evidence of murder, no suspects for murder, and no murder enquiry. They ‘apologised’ for the false impression I had given. This was despite the fact that they were saying nothing different from what I had been saying for some months. A number of journalists from the BBC and elsewhere telephoned me to ask what was going on, as they all remembered me saying just this. There are many, many records of me saying that I did not have sufficient evidence to mount a homicide enquiry. One of the most prominent is the BBC News website of 31st July which quotes me as saying that “unless the evidence changes, it is obvious that there will be no murder enquiry.”
Gradwell also said that I had misled the public about bones being identified as human and that only three bones had been identified as possibly human. He made no mention at that time of a statement by Andrew Chamberlain, an Anthropologist in the UK, who was given sixteen pieces of bone found in the same place by our onsite Anthropologist and identified the largest of them as human juvenile, burnt shortly after death, and buried shortly afterwards. He stated that these were no more than a few decades old. The onsite Anthropologist logged the fact that these sixteen bones were positively human. Gradwell made no mention of that either.
Gradwell also briefed journalists that I had not kept the Policy Books correctly. This is despite the verdict of the ACPO Homicide Working Group Review Team, who carried out several reviews of the investigation and mentored myself and other officers. They concluded that the books were kept properly.
There was to be a further distortion of the truth in respect of Andrew Chamberlain’s statement. The day after I received the report from Andrew, I forwarded a confidential e mail to the Chief Minister quoting verbatim from the report. I stated that Andrew had identified the bones as human juvenile, that he had said they were burnt shortly after death and buried shortly after burning. He said they were no more than a few decades old. Andrew did not identify any part of the body, and consequently neither did I in my e mail to the Chief Minister. I went on to say that if this was confirmed, then there would have to be a homicide investigation. However, a few months ago a Mail on Sunday journalist in Scotland told me that the Chief Minister’s office had leaked the e mail to David Rose, a Mail on Sunday journalist in London. Rose quoted in his article an alleged comment from me, that the bones had come from a child’s skull and it was now a murder enquiry. This was a fabrication and the e mail had obviously been mis-quoted by either the person who leaked it or the journalist. I have made several applications under Freedom of Information to get the e mail to prove what I say, but the Chief Minister of Jersey has refused to hand it over.
I made a complaint to the Press Complaints Council about the inaccurate article carried by the Mail. Several weeks ago, I received a letter from the Council to tell me that as part of their defence, the Mail had given them a letter from Superintendent Gradwell to the journalist concerned in which he quoted from my personal police file and CV from the file. He also made some other disparaging and inaccurate comments. I considered his use of my personal details from my file to be a breach of my privacy and an abuse of his position, a discipline offence in the States of Jersey Police. I made a formal complaint.
As a complaint alleging abuse of authority and position from a member of the public, my complaint should have been passed to the Jersey Police Complaints Authority. However, this week I received a letter from the Acting Chief Officer in which he states that he had reviewed my complaint and it did not come within the Police Complaints Law, and in any event, it was without substance. I have now written to the Police Complaints Authority. It is supposed to be one measure of a democracy that complaints against a law enforcement body should be properly investigated. It is also a basic human right. Jersey seems to be disregarding this.
At the same time as the Press Conference mentioned above, the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police was suspended. One of the reasons given was his failure to control my spending on the enquiry. This is despite the fact that when I told the media that financial considerations would be one of the factors I took into account on deciding my action, I received a severe admonishment from the Chief Minister’s office for mentioning finance. “It is irrelevant”, I was told. I was instructed that justice was the important aspect, not the cost.
Some weeks ago I read that the Home Affairs Accounting Officer had said that much of the spending on the enquiry was ‘illegal’ and could not be justified. This was despite the fact that I had frequent meetings with him and exchanged e mails with him in which he acknowledged the operational need. He never concluded that anything I spent was unjustified. On the contrary, he concurred with my decisions on each occasion I explained them to him. One such example was when I sent two officers to Australia to obtain statements from victims in a case which is now going through the courts. The officers had to take statements from victims on the opposite ends of Australia. During their time there they had no days off- postponing rest days until their return to save money. They commenced work the day after they landed from each flight. On their return they were exhausted, but I received grateful messages from the victims to say that talking to the officers had a dramatic beneficial effect on them. Anticipating the demands on the officers, and in accordance with States of Jersey policy on long haul flights, I authorised travel by business class. This decision was supported by the Accounting Officer, the Home Affairs Minister, and the Chief Minister, following the submission of a report by me in answer to criticism by two Ministers, who themselves had availed of the same policy but did take days off. Despite the agreement, some weeks after my retirement, the same two ministers accused me of wasting money in a letter to the media over this incident. Bizarrely, the Home Affairs Minister and the Chief Minister joined in the criticism.
Finally, I would relate the story about the ‘unused material.’ During my leadership of the investigation, I took regular advice from New Scotland Yard on aspects of Operational Security. One of their pieces of advice was that I should not use a day book to record decisions and other developments in, but that I should record it all in the policy files, message pads, and other documents. I complied with this. Notwithstanding, the States of Jersey Police briefed the media and the court that I had taken unused material from Jersey with me on retirement. The Attorney General wrote that unless I produced this material, they would be unable to meet their disclosure obligations and the cases may well be lost. Despite my frequent denials, the AG instructed me (with only a few days notice) to attend court in Jersey to produce these documents. They did not comply with the law in Scotland and after consultation with the Crown Office in Scotland I did not attend. I again told them I had no unused material and referred them to Scotland Yard for clarification. I challenged them that this was a ploy to blame me wrongly for failing to produce nonexistent material in order for them to blame me when the cases were dismissed, which seemed to me to be the outcome they were seeking. I gave the Attorney General a schedule of the documents I did have. Superintendent Gradwell continued to brief the media that I had material even after a judge from the UK told them that they should pursue it no further.
I went to Jersey in 2002 full of expectation of the challenge that lay ahead. I soon learnt that it was like nowhere else in the British Isles. I was puzzled at first by the hostile reaction from politicians to our efforts to stop the few bullies in the force from making the lives of their colleagues miserable. This turned to anger at the complete obstruction to all our efforts to regulate the possession of high velocity weapons on the island. I began to then see the close links and the way in which the various arms of Jersey society worked in order to stop any modernisation. I saw the law being enforced by the Honorary forces, not on the basis of right and wrong, but simply on who was known to each other, or who went to school with each other. When we tried to tackle police corruption, we again ran into a wall of hostility. This time it was organised, as politicians and government ministers gave open support to the corrupt cops and their associates. Prominent politicians met openly with disgraced corrupt former officers and made excuses for them. One government minister spoke out on behalf of **** ****, the Special Branch Detective, stating that he had been hounded because of “administrative irregularities.” In respect of B, the businessman who was paying off almost ten percent of the force, I met with one high profile long time politician who first told me that I did not understand the culture of Jersey and that a little corruption did no one any harm. The female Minister of Home Affairs was at another meeting with me and he told her to tone down, that everyone knew she only got the job because she was “a little girlie.”
There are no checks and balances on power and the abuse of it. This is obvious each time one tries to make a complaint against any member of the government. One such example arose after a Daily Mail journalist telephoned the Chief Officer of Police, Graham Power, and told him that Senator James Perchard, the Health Minister, had given him a confidential police e mail. The conversation was taped on the publicly declared recording system at Police Headquarters. The force made an official complaint which was totally ignored by the Chief Minister’s office. The Minister denied the allegation, the journalist even denied making the admission, despite the recording. A second attempt was made to complain, again it was ignored. Yet, after a report which I compiled and forwarded to the Attorney General became public, the AG reacted furiously. Despite the fact that the media only obtained it after it was served on the High Court in London, and indeed, various media reports mentioned that fact, a UK police force was appointed at huge expense to investigate who ‘leaked’ the matter. I was warned by five UK journalists and Senator Stuart Syvret that they had been approached ‘cold’ by these officers and asked to implicate me in the passing of documents to them. Senator Syvret was told it was an “Official Secrets Act” investigation despite the fact that the AG had told us in the **** case that police officers did not come within the Law.
What amazed me was the total arrogance of the corrupt – their willingness to go to the media and tell their stories and claim that they were hard done by. This could only happen in an environment where they knew that they would be sympathetic. During the Abuse enquiry I was totally humbled by the number of ordinary Jersey people who stopped me daily, on many occasions with my family, and thanked me for standing up to those who had abused their power and not listened to them for so long. My family still talk about it in disbelief. Trying to get independence in the system is nigh on impossible. As an example, the so called “independent specialist” lawyers appointed by the Attorney General to the Abuse enquiry. They were neither independent nor specialists in child abuse. Two of them were lawyers who for some time have been carrying out the financial crime work of the AG. The other worked for the AG for years and had only recently left.
There is one other incident to illustrate the situation. A UK lawyer now in Jersey who has vast experience in Child Abuse offered their services to the AG to assist with the enquiry. They did so on the basis that there was no one with sufficient experience to be of use. The AG refused. The lawyer told him that Simon Thomas, for all his capabilities and talent, was not a child abuse specialist and this was what was needed. The AG’s response was that this person ought not to worry – there would be no prosecutions anyway. This lawyer does not want to be named because of fears for the future. The lawyer did however, confide this in the former Home Affairs Minister, who resigned from the government because they refused to update the Sexual Offences law – Jersey is still a society where the judge has to tell the jury about the fact that women have on occasions made stories of sexual assault up.
With such an absence of controls, such an absence of accountability, the ordinary decent people of Jersey are helpless. Intentionally or not, the system has allowed corruption to flourish to such an extent that those seeking to combat it are the ones open to scorn. In what other society in the British Isles and beyond, are the police criticised for trying to professionalise themselves? No matter what efforts are made, ultimately they run into a brick wall. This will not be rectified until some sort of independent element is inserted.