Wednesday, October 8, 2014
JERSEY CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY - SERIOUS BREACH OF SECURITY?
"STATEMENT OF LENNY HARPER"
"SECURITY BREACH OF A HIGHLY SENSITIVE DOCUMENT"
"CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY SEND HIGHLY SENSITIVE DOCUMENT VIA UN REGISTERED POST"
After being notified that witnesses, to the ongoing Child Abuse Inquiry, had not recieved their statements to be checked for inaccuracies and signed of Team Voice contacted former Senior Investigating Officer, Lenny Harper of Jersey's Child Abuse Investigation (Operation Rectangle) to see if he had recieved his. We were aware that Mr Harper had been waiting for some months to sign his off. As it happens he had received his statement on Thursday the 2nd October the day we contacted him. What we learnt from the former Senior Investigating Officer is that he received his draft statement through the post and that the envelope that contained it had been "damaged" (opened).
These statements are produced by witnesses/victims/survivors sitting down with Evershed Lawyers from the Child Abuse Inquiry. Statements are taken down in written format. They are not audio recorded which most professionals in this field would say is not best practise. As one can imagine Mr Harpers statement is a very substantial document that could name potential paedophiles, alleged corrupt crown officials and most alarming of all victims and survivors of abuse.
Readers will see from the photo above that this isn't a damaged envelope but more of an opened one. This raises serious questions.
Readers will also see that the documents were sent via domestic post rather than recorded delivery or by courier. It was sent by Jersey Post, which is government owned and a government that is being investigated by this committee of inquiry into decades long child abuse. What on earth were the Inquiry thinking off when they thought that sending such a document through normal post was a good idea?
There is very little doubt, looking at the “damaged” envelope, that Mr. Harper’s statement could have very easily been removed and put back in indeed he has confirmed this to us. This means that the documents could have been copied before being placed back in the envelope.
At this stage of the process the necessary redactions will not have yet taken place. That is to say the names of abuse victims/survivors as well as paedophiles, suspected paedophiles, corrupt officials, and so on could now be in the hands of many. Some of the people named in Mr. Harper’s statement could now be vulnerable to blackmail (the jersey currency)
A full, and far-reaching, “independent” Investigation should now be instigated, firstly in to how such a sensitive document would/could be sent by the child abuse inquiry un registered and in such a flimsy package and why is the inquiry using a the States owned Postal service when there are many others to choose from? What is the policy adopted for posting sensitive/highly confidential documents by the Inquiry Team?
Royal Mail has stated that the “damage” caused to the envelope occurred before it got to mainland UK so they are unable to investigate this. So it is left to government owned Jersey Post to investigate it and that is why, we believe, it should be an independent investigation. Royal Mail paced the opened envelope into a sealed clear plastic package and delivered it.
The seriousness of this security breach cannot be over exaggerated and people, predominantly from the Inquiry Team, should be brought to task, and held to account for this, what looks to be, blatant disregard to highly sensitive/confidential data.