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.


Rico Sorda 


Team Voice

Thursday, October 2, 2014

JERSEY CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY. (TEAM VOICE DISCUSSION 1)






"THE JERSEY CARE INQUIRY"


"AKA - THE JERSEY CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY"



On the 10th December 2013, following a selection process, the appointed panel took the oath of office before the Bailiff of Jersey, Michael Birt. 



They are:

Francis Oldham QC 

Alyson Leslie

Prof. Sandy Cameron CBE


Council to the Inquiry are: 

Patrick Sadd

Harriet Jerram


The inquiry got under way in April 2014. Team Voice has been keeping an eye on the inquiry. This was done by having a Team Voice member present at hearings and being present in the media room. We had decided not to report on anything to  negative about the inquiry in case we put off victims from coming forward. That was, we believe, the right decision. What do you do when you see things that raise concerns? Do you just remain quiet? We have done so in the hope that things would sort themselves out once the inquiry had started to gather momentum. 

We have concerns. We are all willing the inquiry to succeed.  What has really alarmed us is the expulsion of Jersey Bloggers from the media room. The way it was done, the trying to get answers as to why it was done and the sheer lack of professionalism shown by the inquiry in handling this situation.  The situation arose, we believe, because of certain tweets sent out from the media room by former Health Minister and Senator, Stuart Syvret.  Is it just pure coincidence that the bloggers get ejected from  the media room on the day that Stuart Syvret raised some concerns about the inquiry and it's level of questioning of witnesses? This needs to be looked at. Some will say that Mr Syvret was over the top with his criticism but was he right to raise these issues? Let us look at his tweets.

The official line from the Inquiry Team was that there was a lack of space in the media room so Citizen Media became the sacrificial lamb. A blanket ban on bloggers was enacted overnight. We are under no illusion that it was the above tweets that caused this situation and gave the inquiry team the excuse it was looking for to ban bloggers.
Former Deputy of St Mary, Daniel Wimberley has also tried to raise concerns with the Jersey Care Inquiry and to date has not received any satisfactory answers.  His concerns can be read on this posting by Voiceforchildren HERE.





We are also aware of a number of witnesses who are yet to have sight of their statements which were given to the inquiry 3 to 4 months ago. 


As I mention in the discussion below Team Voice have been concerned that the testimony given by witnesses are not being audio recorded. We have spoken to a number of professionals in this field who find this inexplicable and of not best practise. We would like to have the views of any other professionals or readers about our concerns?

Team Voice want this Committee of Inquiry into decades long Child Abuse in Jersey to succeed. We advise that victims and witness come forward to give evidence. Without the evidence the truth will never end up in the final report.



Part 2 of the discussion can be found at VFC. Link provided HERE..

Rico Sorda

Team Voice 

Part Time Investigative Journalist