DISMISSAL BY STEALTH?
We now look at the reply by Senator ILM to the written question by Deputy T.Pitman
WRITTEN QUESTION TO THE MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
BY DEPUTY T.M. PITMAN OF ST. HELIER
ANSWER TO BE TABLED ON TUESDAY 8th JUNE 2010
“Following his undertaking on 25th May 2010, within his response to my written question, to ‘investigate and clarify’ the situation concerning the ‘Metropolitan Police Interim Report’, will the Minister now provide written confirmation of the following information:
(a) whether the document exists as a physical paper document and, if so, how many pages it has?
(b) does the document exist only as an electronic document and, if so, is this electronic document simply in the form of an e-mail?
(c) does an author’s name or names appear on it?
(d) is the document actually simply a series of preparatory notes?
(e) do the words 'Metropolitan Police Interim Report’ appear on the document as a title?
(f) when was it requested, compiled and received?”
(a) & (b)
The document consists of a cover, an index page and 17 pages of text. It was sent in electronic form as an attachment to an email at 15.27 on 10th November 2008, to the now Acting Chief Officer. It was never sent in paper form but was superseded by the full report which is dated 18th December 2008.
No. The document is in the normal police report format with an index and numbered sections and sub-sections.
The words Metropolitan Police appear on the cover above the words “Operation Rectangle Interim Report”.
The ACPO Homicide Working Party recommended that a full review be conducted by an outside police force of the Historical Abuse Enquiry. Accordingly, on 6th August 2008, the now Acting Chief Officer of Police wrote to the Metropolitan Police Force requesting the production of such a report. Subsequently, detailed terms of reference were agreed for the production of the report and work commenced. The main purposes of the report were to advise on the management of the Historical Abuse Enquiry and to provide advice and guidance in relation to the conduct of individual investigations. It soon became apparent that serious issues were arising as to the previous management of the Historical Abuse Enquiry. Details of these concerns were passed on to the now Acting Chief Officer of Police who began to raise these with the Chief Officer of Police from September 2008 onwards. The now Acting Chief Officer of Police also began to share these concerns with other senior officials and with Deputy Andrew Lewis who became the Minister for Home Affairs. By early November 2008 the report was nearly completed. By that stage it had become apparent that some of the issues were so serious that they could prejudice the fair trial of certain individuals. The concern was that serious cases might be stopped by the Royal Court because of the previous actions of the former Deputy Chief Officer of Police. For that reason the now Acting Chief Officer of Police asked the Metropolitan Police Force to produce a report on what they had found up to that point so that a press conference could be held correcting issues relating to information which had previously been given to the press. The Metropolitan Police then produced the Interim Report which they sent on 10th November 2008, to the now Acting Chief Officer of Police as an attachment to an email. The concerns of the now Acting Chief Officer of Police were fully vindicated by the judgment of the Royal Court in the matter of The Attorney General v. Aubin and others  J.R.C. 035A.
So now we have two people who have seen the now infamous Met Interim Report David Warcup & ILM
SECTION F is the part I want to look at. Lets start at the beginning
ACPO Homicide Working Party recommended a full review
It says "It soon became apparent that serious issues were arising as to the previous management of the Historical Abuse Enquiry." So what about the 4 ACPO reports and how did the ACPO Homicide group allow such serious failings when they were overseeing it and then recommend a full review.
Now we know Brian Sweeting from the Met sent the report on the 10th November 2008 what we also know, and i find this incredible, is they had not interviewed Andre Baker head of the ACPO team or SIO Lenny Harper before submitting this Interim Report. What were they using to get a balanced view? If the failings were so serious you would have thought they would like the full picture from both sides.
It says "The main purposes of the report were to advise on the management of the Historical Abuse Enquiry and to provide advice and guidance in relation to the conduct of individual investigations"
Well thats exactly why they ask for these reviews no investigation runs perfectly. The Met Interim report should never ever have been used in a disciplinary procedure but it was 'WHY'. If these report/reviews were used in such away no Chief Police Officer would ever commission one. How do we know that the issues are so serious, we get a hint of the allegations in Graham Powers judicial review but as Graham Powers Advisor says in Suspension Review 2 on VFC, there is a explanation for the issues raised. Why wasn't ILM interested in what Constable Brain was saying.
Now we must ask the Question who is advising ILM on police procedure? This is a very important question because how does ILM now how a police investigation should be run. I imagine an investigation run in the UK would be different to one run in Jersey. For a start our legal system is different to the UK,the police force is so small, what is the right way? or is it that there is no wrong way, you call in ACPO & NPIA for guidance and you get reviews done.
Who is telling ILM what is proper Police Procedure
It says "The now Acting Chief Officer of Police also began to share these concerns with other senior officials and with Deputy Andrew Lewis who became the Minister for Home Affairs. By early November 2008 the report was nearly completed. By that stage it had become apparent that some of the issues were so serious that they could prejudice the fair trial of certain individuals. The concern was that serious cases might be stopped by the Royal Court because of the previous actions of the former Deputy Chief Officer of Police. For that reason the now Acting Chief Officer of Police asked the Metropolitan Police Force to produce a report on what they had found up to that point so that a press conference could be held correcting issues relating to information which had previously been given to the press"
The Acting Chief Officer of Police began to share these concerns with Deputy Andrew Lewis who has informed me 'he didn't see the Met Interim Report' and we have Andrew Lewis telling Wiltshire he had no worries about the handling of the Abuse Investigation and then releasing a press statement in Feb 2010 saying did oops.
So serious were these issues that 'THEY COULD' I repeat that 'THEY COULD' prejudice the fair trial of certain individuals. So serious that cases' MIGHT BE STOPPED' I repeat 'MIGHT BE STOPPED' by the Royal Court. So the Acting Chief of Police DW asked the MET to produce a report so a press conference could be held. Now did David Warcup tell the Met that there report was going to be used in the suspension of the Chief of Police my guess is not a chance.
It says "The concerns of the now Acting Chief Officer of Police were fully vindicated by the judgment of the Royal Court in the matter of The Attorney General v. Aubin and others  J.R.C. 035A."
I was in court for the pre-trial of Aubin and others and the Judgment by the judge is very interesting indeed. Now what the judge went off was a report/staement from a Media Expert brought in from the UK by Warcup and disclosed to the defence 'I BET IT WAS'.
This is what the judge said "16. It is very important to be clear why Mr Harper’s conduct has been criticised in Court and elsewhere. He is to be commended and not criticised for taking the allegations of child sex abuse seriously, for investigating them vigorously, and for making clear that anybody coming forward to give evidence would be treated sympathetically and professionally. No proper criticism of him could be advanced for any of that. The legitimate criticisms of him and the potential damage that he did to any inquiry or Court proceedings are best expressed not by me setting out my opinion but by the professional judgment of an outside expert who reviewed this aspect of the case in November 2008. That report has been disclosed to the defence in the course of these proceedings and I quote from its conclusion:-"
The Outside Expert was a media expert and this is what he said "
“From the outset statements released to the media suggested with the language of certainty that crimes had been committed and that there were many victims. For legal reasons, and in order to manage media coverage and public expectation, more temperate and non-judgmental language would have been more appropriate. Statements made in relation to the item recovered on February 23rd [JAR6] were not accurate and incited an enormous media coverage which at times was hysterical and sensational and was in turn equally inaccurate and misleading. The description of cellars, the voids under the flooring, was inaccurate and allowed the media to create a false impression in the public mindset. The description of an item recovered from Haut de la Garenne as “shackles” was not accurate. The language used to describe the bath could have been more accurate. The decision to display to the media a tooth recovered from Haut de la Garenne was highly unusual. The approach taken by the States of Jersey Police to releasing information about the teeth found was unusual, not consistent with normal working practice in the UK and encouraged further media reporting and speculation. Given the lack of evidence collated to prove that a child’s remains had been found at Haut de la Garenne, the statements made by States of Jersey Police could have been more accurately phrased and could have generated more measured and less prominent media coverage. The statement made by the States of Jersey Police regarding the two pits excavated at Haut de la Garenne was inappropriate. The nature and quantity of much of the media coverage was generated and sustained by the Police’s deliberate decision to provide a regular diet of information to the media. Some, but by no means all, the inaccurate media coverage published was challenged by the Force on a number of occasions the Deputy Chief Officer placed information and allegations into the public domain or responded to issues and allegations in the media which distracted attention from the child abuse investigation and this may have tarnished the reputation of the Force and weakened public confidence in the investigation and its professionalism.”
And the judge said
17. The potential damage to the Court process is illustrated by the fact that it has provided material for the powerfully advanced argument of Advocate Preston that the idea of long term, widespread torture and murder is so entrenched in the consciousness of potential jurors that it cannot be eradicated by any direction from the trial judge. He argues that jurors will either be convinced already that anyone charged must be guilty or they will feel that after this long and expensive inquiry “someone must pay”. This problem is heightened, he argues, because of the size of this jurisdiction. Before setting out my reasons for ultimately not finding his argument persuasive, I should make a preliminary comment. This is not a public inquiry into the conduct of the Police in general or Mr Harper in particular, I comment on his and their conduct only to the extent that it is relevant to the legal issues I have to determine.
Our outside media expert is called Mat Tapp his role must also be looked at seeing as he was paid with Taxpayers money in such a high profile investigation
All we are doing is looking for the Truth and i will leave you with this. In 2008 it was so very serious and in June 2010 nothing ILM is waiting for Graham Power to retire then bring some bits and pieces to the states. Now in my opinion that is a disgrace and a joke.
This is a question asked by the Deputy of St Mary regarding the UK Media Expert
In his reply to a written question from the Deputy of St. Martin on 23rd March 2010, the Minister referred to the lengthy quotation which forms part of the judgement in the matter of the Attorney General v. Aubin and others  J.R.C. 035A. in the following terms “The quotation above which is attributed to an outside expert is a quotation from the report of an independent media expert who was called in to advise the States of Jersey Police on media related matters.” Would the Minister inform members who called for this report, when and why, who conducted it, how were those who undertook the review were selected and what their qualifications were? Will the Minister release the report to members as it has already been used in a public court judgement?
In September 2008 an external media consultant, experienced in working at ACPO level in the UK, was formally engaged by the then Deputy Chief of Police with the knowledge of the Chief Officer of Police to develop an appropriate external communication strategy regarding Operation Rectangle. This was primarily to ensure:
- That trials and ongoing investigations were not compromised or challenged on the grounds of an abuse of process, based on the information supplied to the media by the States of Jersey Police.
- That the public were presented with accurate facts.
The external media consultant gave advice on these matters and subsequently resigned from his role. He then produced a written report in relation to his advice. Other issues relating to the report fall both within the ambit of the enquiry being conducted by the Commissioner and the terms of the first Wiltshire Police Report and it is not appropriate for me to express an opinion thereon at this stage.
I will need to take advice as to whether I can properly release this report to Members at this time or at a time in the future and in what form. My position remains that I am keen to release as much information as possible to Members of the States and as soon as possible.
Get your party hats ready and put a candle on the cake yup ILM'S little baby is nearly a year old, June 19th 2009