On the 12th November 2008 former Chief of Police Graham Power was suspended from duty.
Graham Power along with DCO Lenny Harper and his dedicated team smashed the veil of secrecy concerning decades long Child Abuse in the Jersey Care Homes.
For those readers who have been following this tragic chapter in Jersey's history & for those who are a little less familiar the real crux of the suspension comes together on the 10th November 2008.
On the 10th November, Deputy Chief Officer David Warcup sent a letter to Chief Executive Bill Ogley along with an attachment from the Metropolitan Police "Interim Report" raising issues surrounding the management of Operation Rectangle. This document was used by the Chief Executive and the then Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis to suspend CPO Graham Power without warning, without representation and without hearing. The suspension was carried out in a way which effectively ensured that the Chief Officer could not return to work and was effectively a dismissal. There has been much speculation as to what the letter might have contained. What we know for sure is that it did not contain the full version of the alleged "Met Police Interim Report" - as Warcup claimed that that document was too confidential.
What the Warcup letter failed to say was that the "Met Interim Report" was heavily qualified and stated clearly that the views expressed might change after more work had been done. If this detail had been included ,then, according to previous advise from the Solicitor General, it could not be used for suspension purposes. That part was excluded from what Warcup had to say. We also know that the final version of the Warcup letter was an amended version of the original. Brian Napier QC discovered this but failed to identify who it was that made the changes and why. All the key players denied it was them. Was this letter "Sexed Up" in an effort to convince Andrew Lewis that it was fit for purpose? And if so why was he so easily convinced?
Why did he not seek the original so that he could judge for himself whether the letter was an accurate reflection of what the report contained? Or could it be that he and others were only obeying orders and the strings were being pulled from another direction.
What we have here are mainly the views of DCO David Warcup.
These views were never presented to Graham Power before, during or immediately after his suspension. This is a grotesque failure on the part of then Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis. Stuart Syvret will be looking at the failure of Andrew Lewis on his blog.
Remember what was going on behind Graham Powers back concerning the Outside Media Consultant Matt Tapp - what we are witnessing is a pincer movement to remove the Chief of Police.
Look at what the current Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand has done. During the suspension reviews of early 2009 he had a chance to put a stop to this madness, instead, he repeated exactly what Andrew Lewis had done previously. All the Senator had was David Warcup's letter minus any reference to the Met Report. He then embarked on a Wiltshire enquiry that cost the tax payer 1.5 million pounds, dropped all disciplinary action and then hung Graham Power out to dry with the help of the Jersey Mainstream Media. This complete and utter madness has been able to go on unchecked by the vast majority of our States of Jersey Parliment because they would rather stick their heads in the sand and say "What about Jerseys reputation".
It has been left to the Jersey Bloggers to undertake the Investigative work into one of the darkest chapters in Jerseys history. We do this without protection. We do this because we believe it is the right thing to do.
This is not about Graham Power or Lenny Harper
This is about the Children who suffered terribly in the Care of the States of Jersey
I have always remained of the opinion that if you find the truth about the suspension of Graham Power and the denigration of Lenny Harper then you will find the truth about the cover-up. That was my opinion back in 2008 when I started on this road and it remains my opinion to this day.
DCO David Warcup had only been on the Island for 97 days when Graham Power was suspended. David Warcup was not in the Island for the vast majority of Operation Rectangle. What Warcup offers is opinion and "Hindsight" - what he offers is no different to the Met when reviewing investigations.
Something went seriously wrong between Ogley, Walker, Warcup, Lewis & Senator Le Marquand for carrying it on. This suspension could not have happened without the nod from the then Attorney General or higher.
These issues cannot be excluded from any Committee of Enquiry
The former Chief of Police has never had a chance to reply to these opinions/allegations from David Warcup - I will give him that opportunity - he deserves nothing less.
Truth, Honesty and Integrity
- The parts highlighted in Blue are where Warcup quotes the Met "Interim " Report.
- This letter has not been redacted nor did it need redacting.
10 November 2008
Dear Mr Ogley,
Re Historic Abuse Enquiry
I am writing further to our previous meetings and my previous briefings to the Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis.
The purpose of this letter is to set out details of what I consider to be failings in relation to the command and management of the on going Historic Child Abuse enquiry.
I believe that there is a strong public interest in making the following disclosures and that it is right and proper to do so to maintain the integrity and confidence in the States of Jersey Police, and also to ensure that the public interest is properly served in seeking to resolve these issues.
The background to the current enquiry is as follows;
In April 2006 States of Jersey Police became concerned at the number of carers who were being accused of involvement in offences concerning the abuse of children. This was particularly highlighted when the Commanding Officer of the Jersey Sea Cadets was arrested for downloading pornographic images including some involving Sea Cadets. The attitude of the Sea Cadet authorities of that time caused great concern. Accordingly, police began to examine a number of previous cases and during this review were continually referred to which had allegedly taken place at Haut de la Garenne. This covert phase of the enquiry went on until November 2007 when the investigation was made public . Because of the concerns of victims about an involvement of the Jersey caring agencies it was decided to seek the assistance of the NSPCC in London. Within a week seventy victims had come forward, most detailing abuse at HDLG.
Among the victims were a few who had said that children had been dragged from their beds at night screaming and had then disappeared. Two others said they had knowledge of human remains at the location but were not specific. A person also came to police and said he had a client who knew there were human remains buried at the home. The collation of numerous complaints of both sexual and violent abuse of children had led to the decision being made to enter the home to carry out a screening search for human remains and evidence in support of the allegations of abuse . The advice and assistance of the NPIA in the deployment of UK specialists was secured.
The abuse enquiry parameters are presently set at events that took place from the mid 1940s to 1990
The Above extract is taken from a report presented to me following my appointment and sets out what, at the time , was considered to be a representation of the facts in relation to the enquiry.
As you are aware, I took up post as Deputy Chief Officer with the States of Jersey Police on the 4th August 2008. On the 11th August 2008 , following the departure of Mr Harper , I took over responsibility for the Historic Abuse Investigation known as 'Operation Rectangle'.
Having taken over responsibility, I immediately began a strategic review of the enquiry, as a result of which, it quickly became apparent that there were a number of failings in respect of the command, control and conduct of the enquiry.
Indeed you will recall that on the 4th September 2008 I spoke to both yourself and later the Attorney General regarding confidential matters as well as my concerns regarding the conduct of the enquiry.
Following the appointment of Detective Superintendent Gradwell, further work has been completed which supports the view that the enquiry has not met the standards which might be expected in an investigation of this nature and in following sections I have provided a brief synopsis of what I feel are the key issues.
Command and Control
The conduct of major enquiries , critical incidents and crime investigations are normally based on practice and guidance developed by the Police Service and approved by the Association of Chief Police Officers. A basic principle in the management of critical incidents whether they are crime, civil contingencies, public order or firearms, Is the need to have effective command structures in place.
For over twenty years the police service has used the Gold/Silver/Bronze levels of command , allowing police commanders to develop strategic , tactical and operational responces to spontaneous and pre- planned events (ACPO Centrex 2006)
In relation to this particular investigation , there is no evidence of a proper command structure with a designated Gold Commander responsible and accountable for the incident. In this instance, this role would fall to the Chief Officer with the role of Silver Commander falling to Mr Harper, the senior Investigating Officer.
There is no evidence of a strategic coordinating group (Gold Group) which is required to set, review and update the strategy.
It is apparent that key partners have not been included at a strategic or operational level, nor does it appear that there has been effective consultation with Key partners and the public.
Community consultation and the use of an Independent Advisory Group has not been effectively managed.
There is no recorded evidence of any strategic oversight and approval of tactical plans and enquiry parameters
No resource management plan has been developed and approved .
There does not appear to have been detailed consideration in relation to 'Command Resililence' and the possible problems associated with using unqualified individuals to undertake key roles.
Although a Media Strategy was developed, it is clear that its application led to a unprecedented level of media interest and public concern. There is no doubt that to much detail was disclosed to the media without regard for its impact and potential interpretation. The use of detailed briefings as well as extensive 'off the record' briefings, undoubtedly had a significant impact. The consequences and the impact of this approach are now a matter of public record.
There is also little doubt that there have been improper disclosures to the media, including potentially unlawful disclosures, in breach of the Data Protection Law.
Where inaccurate and misleading reporting did occur, there is no evidence of any attempt to issue corrections to the media, nor indeed to provide clarification.
The adversarial and combative stance adopted by the SIO was allowed to continue unchecked.
Allegations in the media of corruption within the States of Jersey Police by the former SIO have not been evidenced.
Financial controls appear to have been weak with a lack of an overall strategy and a lack of day to day control.
Overtime was allowed to continue over many months , unrestricted and without due regard to cost or the welfare of staff members.
The fast pace and dynamics of an ongoing enquiry have clearly placed challenges on all concerned in respect of effective financial management . The Accounting officer has clearly sought reassurances concerning the financial controls and expenditure and it is clear that he has had to place complete reliance and trust in the reports and updates he received from the force.
Expenditure in relation to forensic matters has been significant. In the absence of a forensic strategy , there was therefore no effective controls of the potential levels of spend in this area.
Expenditure in respect of consultants and specialists appear to have proceeded unchecked.
Specialists have been used 'out of role' at significant expense, e.g The specialist search dog handler was deployed at £650 per day dealing with duties in respect of which he was not trained or qualified.
The ACPO homicide working group (HWG) assisted in the provision of advice and guidance. Their role was however, one largely based on the provision of mentoring and advice. The decisions and actions which follow from this process are a matter for the Chief of Police and the Senior Investigating Officer.
The lack of effective records and policy management have made it extremely difficult to critically assess certain aspects of policy and evidence
Enquiry parameters were very broad and advice concerning the -development of effective investigative parameters as suggested by the (HWG) have not been followed. This has resulted in a lack of coordination and a lack of effective prioritisation of enquiries.
The Lawyers working on enquiry issues were prevented from working effectively with the enquiry team and were criticised heavily in the media. The Media were repeatedly advised by Mr Harper that it was not normal practice for lawyers to work directly with investigators.
Not only did this have an effect of casting doubt on the integrity of the Law officers, but indeed it cast doubt on the broader legal system in Jersey. The assertion that lawyers do not work in this way is fundamentally wrong and indeed there can be little doubt that this action has had an adverse impact on the overall conduct of the investigation . i.e the effective engagement of lawyers would have enabled prioritisation of enquires and would have also assisted in bringing matters to a successful conclusion at an earlier stage.
Media reports have suggested that children have been murdered and buried at Haut de la Garenne. An assessment of the evidence casts significant doubt on this hypothesis. The evidence on which the searches were commenced was not strong and it does not appear that there were grounds to commence a search of the home Haut de la Garenne.
The evidence does not support the facts that there were murders, bodies destroyed and buried at the former children's home.
The piece of 'Child's Skull' is not human bone and was recovered from within a 'Victorian era'
The 'cellars are not cellars, they are voids under the floor.
The 'Shackles and 'Restraints' have not been identified and there is no evidence of Shackles or restraints being used
Many of the bones recovered are animal, in origin, of those identified as possibly human they all predate 1950
The blood stains in the bath have not been identified as blood.
There are 65 teeth recovered in the floor voids and 1 elsewhere. They are milk teeth which have come from at least 10 people and possibly up to 65 people. They generally have the appearance of being shed naturally.
The number of alleged suspects were over stated in the media, leading to increased public expectations and subsequently arousing further suspicion of a 'cover up' when large numbers of suspects were not charged with offences. Only three suspects have been charged, however, there remain a number of lines of enquiry which are being pursued concerning allegations of historic child abuse.
Further more the DCO has apparently removed material which is relevant to the enquiry. He has been requested to return this or explain where the material in question can be located. In the event that he fails to respond directly a criminal enquiry will be commenced.
In August 2008, I commissioned the Metropolitan Police to carry out a review of the historic child abuse investigation. The review was commenced in September and on 10 November 2008 I received an Interim report detailing their initial findings.
The report itself is 'restricted' for the purpose of circulationdue to the fact it contains sensitive information, some of which may be disclosed in future trials. I can however summarise a number of issues which emerge from the report and which I anticipate will be expanded upon when I receive the final report;
' There is no policy book dealing with forensic strategy which is a critical area in this investigation'
'There are no specific terms of reference for Operation Rectangle given the potential size, complexity and sensitivity of the enquiry, one would have expected a more precise terms of reference'
'A major factor affecting the planning of Operation Rectangle was the decision to limit it to a single agency led investigation, e.g police only. It has been made very clear to the review team that this was due to the internal politics and alleged corruption in the island, a lack of trust by victims of some of the authorities..it is felt that this decision had a profound influence on the subsequent investigation'
Issues have been raised in relation to the lack of a community impact assessment and the lack of a strategic (Gold) group. Issues are also raised in the inappropriate use of the Independent Advisory Group. The Report then deals in some detail with the important decisions relating to the search and excavation of Haut de la Garenne and the Victoria Tower Bunkers. The report concludes that the rationale for the searches/excavations do not appear to stand close scrutiny and that
"no evidence of homicide was apparent and no missing persons have been identified, "we are therefore of the view that Operation Rectangle should consider this aspect of the enquiry closed"
The report also deals with the forensic assessment and intelligence as well as the arrest strategy and the management of the major incident room. The report also expresses concerns about the media strategy, 'the manner in which some information was imparted to the media, the quality of this information and the language employed... the interaction of the enquiry team with the media at this time does raise many issues'.
The continued investigation into physical and sexual abuse is justified.
The comments highlighted above can only serve to summarise what is undoubtedly a complicated and detailed series of events and findings.
I set out earlier that the purpose of this letter was to set out details of what I consider failings of command within the States of Jersey Police with regard to the ongoing Historic Abuse enquiry. I believe that these failings have the potential to undermine the integrity and reputation of the force and to seriously affect public confidence in policing in the Island.
The interim findings of the review by the Metropolitan Police fully support my previous comments and opinions which I have expressed herein.
As you are aware I have remained concerned in relation to the stance which was previously adopted by the Chief Officer to the proposal that facts surrounding the investigation needed to be clarified in the media, both in relation to the public interest and for legal reasons.
I am also concerned at the lack of dialogue which has taken place between the Chief Officer and myself, as well as the lack of dialogue between the Chief Officer and Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Mick Gradwell.
I also believe that there are serious organisational issues which lie behind the current events and which need to be addressed within the States of Jersey Police. Broadly speaking I have found the force to be one which contains a large nuber of very committed individuals. However, I have found an environment which is highly risk adverse, and where bullying and intimidation is common place.
Central to all these issues is the lack of proper oversight and proper application of standard working practices, including financial and HR. Unless action is taken to address these issues then I would suggest that the force could yet again find itself the focus of attention at the centre of another critical incident. This is perhaps best exemplified by recent incidents and the levels of internal investigations (6) which are currently being conducted by UK police forces as well as the very real risk which exists to the Islands reputation within the wider Intelligence community.
As you are aware I have raise my concerns regarding the conduct of the investigation with the Chief Officer, Mr Power who does not share my views as to the potential adverse impact and reputational issues whaich may affect the force as a result of the investigation. I therefore submit these comments for your consideration and that of the Minister of Home Affairs.
Deputy Chief Officer
States of Jersey Police