The Policing Function in Jersey –
Oligarchy Politicians want to keep it that way
So they can eventually run Jersey as their own “independent” crypto-feudal fiefdom.
“The duties of the Chief Officer of Police in Jersey are not confined to the running of the force and the management of the interface with the Honorary Police. In Jersey, the Home Affairs Department has no direct responsibility for policing, and only a marginal involvement in the development of legislation regarding the police. If there is to be any progress in this area then it normally falls upon the Chief Officer of Police to take the initiative, normally in consultation with the Minister for Home Affairs, the Law Officers and the Law Draftsman’s department.”
“Against this background the Chief Officer’s actual responsibilities for the command of law enforcement in the island, are obscured in a mixture of outdated laws, customary practice, and the practical requirements of policing in the modern world.”
“The role of the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police is part police officer, part civil servant, part government policy maker and part ministerial advisor. I am not aware of any comparable role within any police service in the British Isles.”
Graham Power, Queens Police Medal
I’m publishing below paragraphs 20 to 36 of the initial statement made to the Wiltshire Police by former Chief Officer of the Jersey Police, Graham Power, Queens Police Medal.
Graham Power was illegally suspended following what we now know to have been months of criminal plotting involving the then Attorney General William Bailhache, the then Chief Minister Frank Walker, the Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis, the Chief Executive Bill Ogley, the Deputy Police Chief David Warcup, and others.
Jersey’s citizens’ media journalists have, over the months, sought-out, uncovered, and published many examples of dramatic and powerful evidence. All such work stands in remarkable contrasts to all of Jersey’s traditional mainstream media, who have – on the evidence – pro-actively colluded with the Jersey authorities in the illegal oppression of the legitimate Police Chief, and the subsequent unlawful hi-jacking and sabotaging of objective and impartial policing in the island.
The evidence I’m publishing here can be taken as another sorry indictment of media standards in Jersey. The statement from which the paragraphs are taken – all 94 pages of it – was furnished to the BBC in Jersey, in September 2011. The document is dynamite, in so many ways.
But yet, the BBC – having been very willing to enthusiastically give full and extensive coverage to the Jersey oligarchy statements and actions in attempting to smear and attack Mr. Power – failed to report as much as one word of this important, documentary evidence. Failed – to provide any balance. Failed to uphold the BBC Charter. Acted illegally, against the Broadcasting Act.
So once again, we ordinary people in Jersey, the great majority of decent concerned citizens, must turn from the redundancy of the traditional media – and find and publish the real news – the important facts – ourselves.
In coming postings we will read further sections from Graham Power’s statement. The issues that arise from this document are of the utmost public interest importance – and go to the very question of whether, in fact, the community of Jersey can be said to enjoy effective, impartial policing?
When reading the section of the statement I publish below – another question, in addition to the troubling concerns in respect of the focus and control and objectivity of policing in Jersey – will occur to any thinking person, namely, “why – in a 21st century western democracy – do we ordinary people have to do our own investigative journalism – when the media organisation we fund via the licence fee – the BBC – is actually handed such dramatic evidence on a plate, but yet refuses to report a word of it?”
The BBC have had the full, 94 page document – since September 2011.
You might wish to ask BBC Jersey boss, Jon Gripton, to explain the conduct of the BBC. This is his e-mail address:
In the next posting, we will read further sections from the Statement of Graham Power – and consider some of the implications for us all, arising from the illegal suspension of our Police Chief.
Statement by Graham Power, Queens Police Medal: Paragraphs 20 to 36.
20. Major Crime. Competency Issues Relating to the Force. The readiness of the force to cope with the challenge of a major and unforeseen criminal investigation is raised at this stage, because it has been an issue, not just during Rectangle, but from the very beginning of my tenure as Chief Officer. My initial appointment as Chief Officer of the Force was in the aftermath of a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), published in 2000, which was highly critical of the management of the force and its performance. There were also recognised serious professional standards issues to be addressed. I also became aware of a lack of self-sufficiency in the investigation of murder and comparable crime. In its simplest terms, it appeared to be the established practice for the force to effectively “hand over” major investigations to Devon and Cornwall Police. I did not think that this was sustainable for a number of reasons. These included the vulnerabilities created by such a dependency, for example, the acknowledged fact that the priorities of Devon and Cornwall Police must inevitably focus primarily on the needs of that force. In addition, visiting officers often found local law and procedures unfamiliar and it was necessary to provide them with guidance and support throughout an investigation. There was also the issues of local pride, the professional development of local officers, and the cost of mutual aid. There had inevitably been some local political and media criticism from those who could not understand why their local force was not undertaking a more visible role in major enquiries.
21. I addressed this matter on a number of levels. One involved a joint agreement with Devon and Cornwall which committed both parties to the specifics of what they would do, and in what circumstances. This also involved the permanent establishment, and periodic testing, of a H.O.L.M.E.S. 2 link in Jersey connected to the main Devon and Cornwall Computer. I also encouraged greater emphasis on the need to train and develop local officers by a variety of means, including secondments to U.K. forces.
22. A further opportunity arose when the officer who was Superintendent and head of Operations indicated that he intended to retire and it was known that the then Deputy Chief Officer (D.C.O.) would retire soon afterwards. I had a number of discussions with the then President of Home Affairs, (the name given at that time to the Chair of the Home Affairs Committee) Alastair Layzell, and we agreed this created an opportunity to strengthen the local management team by recruiting a Superintendent and potential D.C.O. from outside the island. I told Deputy Layzell that we had a pressing need for a “heavyweight” detective who could take command in appropriate circumstances, and mentor local officers.
23. After candidates had been short listed, a selection panel was arranged. It is my recollection that the members were Deputy Layzell, Senator Wendy Kinnard, who was the Vice-President of the Committee, myself and possibly a member of the Appointments Commission. Towards the end of the process two candidates stood out. Lenny Harper, who I believe at that time was a Superintendent in Strathclyde, was the strongest, and the second was a Acting A.C.C. in the National Crime Squad, John Pearson. I discussed the candidates with the panel. I pointed out that Mr Harper would be a bold choice. He was a man who would “lift stones and rattle cages.” He was likely to be relentless on ethical issues. If we were to appoint him then we should be alert to these characteristics. We then discussed John Pearson. I drew attention to the fact that that although not as broad in his experience as Mr Harper, he was nevertheless the specialist “heavyweight” detective we needed badly.
24. Deputy Layzell responded bravely to this situation and said that he would agree to change the establishment of the force on a temporary basis to accommodate both officers. Harper would be designated at Chief Superintendent and D.C.O. in waiting. Pearson was made Detective Superintendent. This was a controversial move, both within the force and externally. We had to address criticism that local officers were being deprived of promotion opportunities. This is a recurrent theme in island policing, which persists no matter how unrealistic some local aspirations may be, and one which is continually used as a means to attack the professional and political leadership of the force. Its significance should not be underestimated. I will refer to this factor again later in this statement.
25. Not long afterwards the planned retirements occurred and both officers moved into their intended positions. To complete this part of the narrative, the former Superintendent was Trevor Garrett, who is a local person who is still living in Jersey. The former D.C.O. was Roly Jones who was a good and committed officer who believed that he had not always had the full support he deserved. He did not have a long retirement and died some years ago. I recall that it was not very long after the selection process that Deputy Layzell was unexpectedly defeated in an election and left politics. He was succeeded as President of Home Affairs by Wendy Kinnard.
26. The Nature of the Role of Chief Officer of Police in Jersey. It is claimed by various authorities that the policing system in Jersey can be traced back over 800 years. There does appear to be evidence that something resembling the current honorary system was in place in medieval times, and there can be no doubt that in recent centuries there was a Parish-based system close to the one which exists today. Honorary police officers are elected by voters in each of the twelve Parishes. The senior figure is the Connétable (or “Constable”), who is also head of the parish and a member of the States. The next most senior in rank are Centeniers, who are responsible for the charging and prosecution of offenders. Vingteniers are the next rank. Some of the administrative functions of that role have in more recent times passed to other bodies, but they remain senior to the Constable’s Officers, who are the junior and often most visible rank of the honorary service. One Centenier in each parish is designated Chef-de-Police and has delegated day to day control of policing on behalf of the Connétable. There is now an island-wide Honorary Police Association, in which the policing interests of all of the Parishes are represented.
27. In recent centuries notable events have from time to time highlighted the need for the honorary police to receive a measure of professional support. In 1853 Loi sur la Police Salariée were created to support the Connétable of St Helier, and subsequently the Paid Police (Jersey) Law 1951 extended the provision of paid assistance for Connétables to the whole island. In 1974 the Police Force (Jersey) Law came into force. This changed the name of the force to the States of Jersey Police and brought some degree of legal definition to the relationship between the States and Honorary Police. However, some important distinctions and powers have been preserved. Most notable among these continuing powers are those which relate to the charging and prosecution of offenders. The States Police do not bring charges or undertake prosecutions. The role of the force is to gather evidence and present it to the relevant Centenier for consideration as to what action he or she thinks it proper to take. In serious cases Centeniers are advised by the Law Officers Department.
28. Under Article 9 of the 1974 Police Law the Chief Officer is responsible for “the general administration and the discipline, training and organisation of the force.” This is a role sometimes described as the “administrative head of the Force.” Article 7 of the Law sets a requirement for the States and Honorary Police to exchange information on occurrences in parishes. In recent years I have agreed with honorary police representatives a means by which this is done electronically in the majority of cases. In other respects the law does not intrude upon the established position, that the role of the force is to provide professional support to the Connétables in the policing of their parish. This is re-enforced by Article 6 which refers to a schedule of prescribed offences. For the purposes of this statement it is sufficient to say that the schedule contains a list of offences which are more serious than others, and in respect of which a degree of professional skills are likely to be required. When such an offence comes to the notice of a member of the Honorary Police, he or she is required to “request the assistance force.” Even for example, in cases of homicide, the position under the 1974 law is that the Force is to assist the member of the honorary police. There is no provision which allows the force to take command without the agreement of the relevant Connétable, or his or her delegate.
29. During my period in office I have entered into a variety of discussions and agreements, both formal and informal, which have sought to bring a measure of contemporary realism to these legal arrangements. This has resulted in a strong working partnership between the States and Honorary Police which has been of benefit to the island. During these discussions the honorary police have been well represented by a number of their senior ranks. In recent times the most active has been [Centenier A] who is the Chef de Police of the Parish of [B]. Should the investigating officer wish to verify my account of this relationship, or to obtain further information, it is probable that [Centenier A] would be willing to assist. His contact details are in the public domain.
30. The relationship with the honorary police also has implications for the type of laws and procedures which are appropriate for Jersey. Most honorary officers receive only a few days training, and some, little training of any sort. It follows from this that any policing procedure which is complex, or difficult for a volunteer force to absorb, can be seen as a threat to the honorary system. There are within the honorary service some strongly traditional and politically influential figures who have still not come to terms with the introduction of the “paid police.” They can be suspicious and resentful of “foreign ways” which are seen as a threat to the survival of their traditional way of working, which is based predominantly on common-sense, local knowledge, and discretion, rather than any set procedure.
31. Such views are not confined to the older elements of the honorary service. They can be found, albeit in a more developed form, in the senior levels of government and the legal establishment where some notable figures favour an eventual severance of links with the U.K. and would see the ready acceptance of U.K. working practices as running counter to this agenda. I recall that in 2007 I assisted a small working group which included, among others, the Bailiff Sir Philip Bailhache and the Attorney General William Bailhache. The purpose of the group was to prepare a draft contingency plan for complete independence. I submitted papers to the group on the implications for law enforcement, and used some contacts from my previous role to offer suggestions as to who outside of the island, could assist in developing such a plan. I provided contact details of key figures in the Scottish Government and Administration including the Scottish National Party. I recall that some of the advice and contacts I provided were in an email I sent, probably in July 2007. This and other experiences reinforced my understanding that there was a tide flowing against closer association with the U.K, and a strong local agenda to develop working models and solutions within the island.
32. Over the years there have been attempts by myself and Wendy Kinnard, when she was Minister for Home Affairs, to address the issue of operational control and responsibility. The most recent of these being the failed attempt to introduce a new police law in 2008. The draft law’ sought, in a tentative way, to make the Chief Officer the person who was formally in operational command and control of the force. The law achieved some public debate and made it as far as a hearing before a Scrutiny Panel (a body similar to a Parliamentary Select Committee in England) before running out of time due to the approach of an election, at which the sponsoring Minister, Senator Wendy Kinnard, did not propose to stand. The panel hearings and other discussions make it clear that political opinion is divided on the matter of command and control of the police. Some wish to retain the legal primacy of the Connétables for the policing of their parishes. Others think that operational direction should sit with the Minister for Home Affairs. With the exception of Senator Kinnard, and possibly Andrew Lewis, there was no major lobby in favour of placing greater operational or command powers in the hands of the Chief Officer.
33. The duties of the Chief Officer of Police in Jersey are not confined to the running of the force and the management of the interface with the Honorary Police. In Jersey, the Home Affairs Department has no direct responsibility for policing, and only a marginal involvement in the development of legislation regarding the police. If there is to be any progress in this area then it normally falls upon the Chief Officer of Police to take the initiative, normally in consultation with the Minister for Home Affairs, the Law Officers and the Law Draftsman’s department. One example is the recurrent attempts to achieve a modern police law, referred to above, and regulations dealing with complaints against senior officers. As I recall it was my predecessor who took the initiative on the establishment of a Police Complaints Authority and the beginnings of a new Police Law. The Police Complaints Law was successfully implemented for most ranks of the service, but work stalled on the new Police Law and Senior Officer Discipline Regulations. After various frustrations I took on this work with Alison Fossey, who may have been a sergeant when the work began, and who is now an inspector. We worked with the law draftsman’s department and produced a draft which, as described previously, went out to consultation and then to the Scrutiny Panel. Civil service involvement was minimal.
34. As a Chief Officer I also sit on the Corporate Management Board, along with Chief Officers from other departments. Together we share a collective responsibility for the administration of the governance of the island and for providing advice to the Council of Ministers. Very little of the board’s business concerns law enforcement. It would be quite usual for me to be expected to contribute to discussions on education or health policy, and assist in prioritising the government’s capital programme.
35. In addition to these roles, I would frequently prepare briefs for the Minister for Home Affairs prior to meetings, or draft answers to questions she was required to answer in the States, along with suggested “lines to take” during political questioning. I would engage regularly with the media and advise the Minister on “lines to take” during media interviews. Against this background the Chief Officer’s actual responsibilities for the command of law enforcement in the island, are obscured in a mixture of outdated laws, customary practice, and the practical requirements of policing in the modern world.
36. The role of the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police is part police officer, part civil servant, part government policy maker and part ministerial advisor. I am not aware of any comparable role within any police service in the British Isles. I will return to this topic later when I discuss the relevance of English and Welsh guidelines and the dangers of equivocation when discussing the responsibilities of a “Chief Officer.”
Graham Power, QPM