OF TAX-DODGING, CHILD ABUSE
AND THE OPPRESSION OF AN HONEST POLICE CHIEF.
Graham Power’s Statement – Part 2
Be it via the tax-avoidance of Jimmy Carr, or the close attention of the Guardian newspaper, the tiny and constitutionally peculiar island of Jersey is back in the international spotlight to a degree that hasn’t occurred since the many decades of concealed child-abuse were exposed back in 2007 and 2008.
A carpet was hastily pulled over the child abuse scandals with what is now known to have been the illegal suspension of the Police Chief under whose leadership the investigation had taken place. Graham Power, Queens Police Medal, was the victim of an unlawful and politically driven putsch that had been in the gestation and planning for many months. This is how Graham Power describes, in a subsequent statement, the nature of the political interference, abuse and attempts to illegally suppress the work of the Police Force:
[There was] “a meeting on 23rd May 2008 attended by myself, [Home Affairs Minister] Wendy Kinnard, the Chief Minister Frank Walker and the Chief Executive Bill Ogley. The meeting was not a harmonious event. During the course of the meeting Frank Walker expressed annoyance that the enquiry was continuing to generate unwelcome media interest in the island, and adopted a bullying and offensive tone towards Wendy Kinnard. He made threats of suspension against both myself and Lenny Harper. I believe that the term he used was that he “was under pressure to suspend the Chief and the Deputy Chief.” He did not say who the “pressure” was from, nor did he give the impression that he was personally opposed to the idea.”
A tax-avoidance industry – child-abuse – the illegal repression of a Police Chief – and independence from the UK: these are not different, separate subjects, but rather characteristics of the unaddressed sub-text – the reality of the “Jersey” situation.
Unaccountable, lawless feudal power.
An entrenched traditional oligarchy, that will tolerate no challenge or scrutiny upon the customary criminality of its courtiers and vassals.
A few of Jersey’s oligarchs are now openly pushing the ‘independence’ agenda they have been secretly working on for some years. Ostensibly, the ‘problem’ exercising the Jersey elites is that the UK has not worked hard enough to defend and maintain Jersey’s off-shore finance based economy. The understandable response of most commentators in the UK to the complaints voiced in the name of Jersey has been “well, bugger-off then, and good riddance.”
Given the terms of the public debate, it is understandable that so many people imagine the ordinary population of Jersey as wallowing in money, and that the “call for independence” to reflect some popular resentment by a pampered and free-loading populace, concerned only to be able to carry on creaming off the top of the billions of tax dodged.
The reality is very different.
Jersey has appalling standards of wealth-distribution, with large working and under-class populations who struggle to exist in an environment that directly taxes basic foodstuffs, and which has a cost-of-living higher than that of central London. Jersey is, undoubtedly, a good place to be if you are middle-class or rich. For the rest of us, living here is a daily struggle. The response of the local elites to that observation is invariably, ‘if you don’t like it, there’s a boat in the morning.’
To understand the current debate, people need to be aware that Jersey has no tradition of party-politics – no organised opposition – and no functional, credible mainstream media. For example, there is only one “newspaper”, and that has always been, essentially, the house-journal of the local oligarchy, with the more recent local broadcast media following tamely in the wake of the agenda it sets. When one or two Jersey politicians speak of an alleged “wish” on the part of “Jersey” to seriously consider independence from the UK, in fact, they have no mandate for such an agenda – and no common support. It is the “wish” of a few self-interested and fearful oligarchs, not the wish of “Jersey”. If a referendum was held in Jersey on independence from the UK, about 85% of the vote would reject the idea. And that’s probably a conservative estimate.
But even considering the argument on the terms of those who propose it – namely maintaining the off-shore finance industry and Jersey’s present economy – would independence actually work?
No, it would not. If nations such as the UK, and treaty-areas such as the EU, and international bodies such as the OECD, have begun the process of effectively shutting-down off-shore finance centres – then that process is going to happen – as an historic inevitability. A newly independent Jersey would make not one atom of difference to those international policy developments.
And the Jersey oligarchs know that perfectly well.
For in truth, their imperative, of independence from the UK, is not driven by any credible means of defending off-shore finance. Rather, it is driven by their objective of continuing to avoid the rule of law.
In this mad talk of independence from the United Kingdom, we see the last desperate thrashings of a criminal regime which knows itself to be so utterly corrupt, lawless and systemically indefensible that it realises it cannot for much longer hold off the inevitability of the UK finally requiring the clean-up of Jersey’s stagnant and conflicted system of public administration. In much the way as was necessary in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The seemingly “respectable” talk of taxation policies is but a proxy; a plausible cover for the real battle.
The Jersey elites wish to retain a feudal system that has allowed them – for 800 years – to maintain their power through such measures as simply illegally oppressing the Police Chief, should he be so foolish as to start lifting the carpet under which the crimes of the oligarchs and their vassals have been customarily concealed.
The United Kingdom government is responsible for the criminality of Jersey’s public authorities. We should not let either of those parties avoid that fact through some diversionary talk of a mutually convenient divorce.
Paragraphs 20 to 36 of former Police Chief Graham Power’s 346 paragraph interim statement to the Wiltshire Police Force were published by this blog on the 13th May and can be read here:
Published below are paragraphs 37 to 126.
If British foreign policy concerning democracy, accountability, the rule of law and the protection of the weak from the strong means anything, the very last thing these Jersey oligarchs should be permitted to inflict upon the long-suffering ordinary people of the island is even more unaccountable and untrammelled power than they exercise already.
Paragraphs 37 to 126: Statement by Former Police Chief Graham Power, Queens Police Medal:
37. The Accountability of the Chief Officer.
It might at this stage of the statement be of some value for me to set out the accountability of the Chief Officer, how this has evolved during my tenure, and where it appears to stand today. As stated earlier, the Chief Officer is accountable to the Minister under article 9 of the Police Law for the “general administration and the discipline, training and organisation of the Force.” I know of no other relevant accountabilities which are attached to the post. It is to be noted that there is no mention of the Chief Officer having the responsibility for the operations of the force or for its performance.
38. The history of the accountability arrangements are set out in more detail in the affidavits filed in connection with my application for Judicial Review, which have been supplied to the investigating officer. In brief, at the time of my appointment there was a Home Affairs Committee, headed by a President and Vice President. The Chief Officer was accountable to the Committee and the normal rules of committee process applied. The President of the committee was Deputy Alastair Layzell and the Vice President was Senator Wendy Kinnard. There was also a Shadow Police Authority, which had been set up by the States in response to a report from a committee headed by Sir Cecil Clothier (The report is commonly known as “Clothier One”.) I was told at the time that the Shadow Police Authority would progressively assume full legal status and the Home Affairs Committee would reduce its direct role in relation to policing. I was content to accept my appointment as Chief Officer on that basis.
39. Once I had been appointed, none of these promised changes occurred. The Shadow Police Authority faded away for a variety of reasons which included delays, and lack of overall political commitment. The States decided to move from a system of Committee Government to Ministerial Government, this change taking place in consequence of legislation passed in 2005. Before the changes to the system of government, the Chief Officer was accountable to some extent to two committees, namely the Home Affairs Committee and the Shadow Police Authority. After the change, he was accountable to a single individual, namely the Minister for Home Affairs. The first ever Minister for Home Affairs in Jersey was Senator Wendy Kinnard, who was the Minister in office at the critical time of “Rectangle.”
40. The authority of the Minister for Home Affairs under the law appears to be unfettered. There is no obligation to consult with other parties, or obtain any approval for any action taken in exercise of Ministerial authority. During “Rectangle” both myself and the Deputy Chief Officer, met regularly with the Minister and updated her on developments. She also met with, and was briefed by the advisors appointed by the Homicide Working Group. I have no recollection or record of the Minister raising any matters of significant concern during “Rectangle.” On the contrary, she appeared at all times, to be strongly supportive.
41. There is one aspect of my accountability which does not fit neatly into any of the requested topics, and I will therefore mention it here. It is the situation which persisted for a key part of the abuse enquiry [REDACTED] [this led to] Assistant Minister, Andrew Lewis, to assume responsibility for political accountability in respect of Rectangle. (Notebook 07/358 page 39.)
42. [REDACTED] at a meeting on 23rd May 2008 attended by myself, Wendy Kinnard, the Chief Minister Frank Walker and the Chief Executive Bill Ogley. The meeting was not a harmonious event. During the course of the meeting Frank Walker expressed annoyance that the enquiry was continuing to generate unwelcome media interest in the island, and adopted a bullying and offensive tone towards Wendy Kinnard. He made threats of suspension against both myself and Lenny Harper. I believe that the term he used was that he “was under pressure to suspend the Chief and the Deputy Chief.” He did not say who the “pressure” was from, nor did he give the impression that he was personally opposed to the idea. My notebook records that I made an email record after this meeting. (Notebook 08/95 page 34.) The Investigating Officer has subsequently provided me with a copy of the relevant email. It was intended for internal reading, and its robust tone is designed to reassure the relevant people that I am seeking to fulfil my identified role, (which will be discussed in more detail later,) of protecting the investigation from political interference. I did not record the suspension threat relating to myself in the email as it did not concern the people to whom the message was addressed.
43. The investigating Officer may agree that the email was not written in anticipation that it would be read by persons other than those to whom it was addressed. It nevertheless provides support for my account of that meeting. The Investigating Officer may also note that in paragraph 18 of my first affidavit I record that a States Member unconnected to these events, had told me of an overheard conversation between Frank Walker and Andrew Lewis, in which they appeared to be discussing the use of suspension The Investigating Officer will also note that the email contains a suggested media “line.” My practice of suggesting media “lines” where appropriate will be discussed later in this statement.
44. [REDACTED] [the conferring of responsibility upon Assitant Minister Andrew Lewis] had implications for the political leadership and the representation of the Force in the States and elsewhere, during a time of significant challenge.
45. Under the Police Law my sole line of accountability was to the Minister for Home Affairs, who at the relevant time was Wendy Kinnard. Nevertheless, I had informal contacts with other Ministers on a regular basis. I have no recollection of any Minister raising any formal reservations regarding the conduct of the enquiry, other than in the meeting referred to above, and that was confined to a verbal outburst on the question of media attention from the Chief Minister, Frank Walker. I note that at a sitting of the Council of Ministers on 22 May 2008 (the day before the meeting referred to above) the Council asked the Minister for Home Affairs for assurances that she was maintaining “effective political oversight” of the investigation by “being satisfied that the investigation was being undertaken in a professional and proper manner” and “being content that audit mechanisms in place to monitor the progress of the criminal investigation were suitably independent, professional and thorough.” In consequence of these assurances the Council of Ministers “reaffirmed its full support for the police enquiry.” (Statement Frank Walker paragraph 24.) I have no knowledge of any contrary view being expressed by the Council of Ministers since that date.
46. I hope that the above section on accountability is sufficient for the investigating officer at this time. I will now turn to the management of the force.
47. The Force and its Management Processes.
The States of Jersey Police is the national police force for the island of Jersey. It is not part of any other force, or any other law enforcement organisation. It consists of around 240 police officers and 90 civil servants. The Force does not have full-time standing units in a number of key areas including armed response, public order, family liaison and the like. The successful performance of the force depends on the goodwill of officers who are willing to undertake additional specialist duties on a part time basis. The joint financial crime unit (joint in the sense that there are customs representatives in the unit,) is relatively large in relation to the overall size of the force. It is not unusual for that unit to be managing a number of investigations regarding serious and organised crime, and corruption, at any one time. That is not to say that such offences are necessarily Jersey based. More commonly the force is investigating financial crime issues which originate in other jurisdictions and are believed to have a Jersey link. The delivery of co-operation and support to an acceptable standard in such investigations is important in maintaining the reputation of the island and the Force.
48. Overall, crime is relatively low and force performance is high. The years since 2000 have predominantly been characterised by falling crime, high detection rates, and high public confidence. Reports by H.M Inspectorate of Constabulary have been positive. The views of the community are regularly surveyed and assessed. It is common for survey returns to show satisfaction levels in excess of 90%. While it could be plausibly argued that in Jersey everyone is a member of a minority group, some minorities are more evident than others. The recruitment of police officers from minority groups is at a proportionate level, and recorded levels of confidence in the police service among minorities in the population commonly exceeds that of the population as a whole.
49. The force executive consists of the Chief Officer, the Deputy Chief Officer, the Superintendent, who is also the head of operations, and the head of planning and research. Two members of the Home Affairs Department are also invited to executive meetings. They are a financial representative and the Head of H.R.
50. Corporate governance is exercised through a cycle of meetings which is as follows:
· Short daily informal meetings at 0900 with the Chief Officer and such members of the executive, or their nominees, as are available.
· The executive strategy group: This meets every 2/3 weeks. There is an agenda, advance circulation of papers, and a minute keeper. The group discusses policy issues at a strategic level. The minutes are available on the force intranet and are copied to the Minister for Home Affairs and the Assistant Minister. Financial issues are a standing item.
· The force management board: This consists of the executive and a broader membership including line managers and staff associations. It meets on average, every 2/3 weeks and alternates with the strategy group. Again, finance is a standing item and the minutes are widely available.
· Ministerial meetings: These are periodic but fairly regular meetings attended by the Minister and the Assistant Minister, along with the Chief Officer, the Deputy Chief Officer and the head of operations. Due to the operationally sensitive nature of some of the agenda items, attendance was restricted to those named above.
· Strategic level meetings with the Honorary Police. These are less frequent but are normally attended by 3 or 4 nominated representatives of the Honorary Police, the Chief Officer, and a relevant operational officer. Again, there is an agenda and minutes. Discussions usually revolve around local initiatives and legal developments which might impact on the honorary service. There is sometimes a need to dispel suspicion or rumour.
· Any other operational meetings as are required to cascade any issues from the above meetings. I would not attend these unless specifically invited.
51. I have sought to operate this meeting cycle on a “one size fits all” basis. The meetings can cover a variety of topics, but are intended to bring management issues within a simple and transparent framework, hoping to achieve solutions which are collectively owned rather than driven from the top. I do not encourage proliferation of the meeting cycle. In a force of a few hundred staff, all of whom work from the same building complex, and who see each other several times a day, there is no need for people to spend undue lengths of time in management meetings. I also insist that meetings start on time, are focussed, and to the point. The meeting cycle is intended to support the work effort. It should not become a substitute for work.
52. The above arrangements have provided a foundation for an efficient and well run police service. It is my recollection that the force has, in my eight and-a-half years always finished the year within its allocated budget and that there is a widespread acceptance of the States Police as a high performing and professional organisation.
53. I note that in Mr Warcup’s statement he describes at some length the processes for formulating and delivering policy in the police forces of England and Wales, and the powers to introduce codes of practice under the “U.K. (sic) Police Reform Act.” I am not sure if I am expected to comment on that narrative at this time but if I am then I am unable to do so. I have not lived or worked in England or Wales for close to 20 years and cannot speak with authority on how things are done in those countries. I am however satisfied that the corporate governance arrangements which I established for the States Police are suitable for the requirements of the force and the island. Jersey is not part of the U.K. and is not bound by any U.K. legislation.
54. The Succession Plans.
The appointment of both Lenny Harper and John Pearson, achieved through the process I have described earlier, did much for the effectiveness of the force. John Pearson brought a wealth of experience as a senior detective and was effective in developing the skills of more junior officers. I will address the experiences of Mr Harper in a separate section of this statement.
55. As my initial five year appointment as Chief Officer was drawing to an end I had some informal discussions with members of the Home Affairs Committee. It was clear that a majority hoped that I would agree to my contract being renewed. On balance, I was attracted to this but felt that it was now time to set a limit and have a clear view of the date on which I would eventually retire. After a period of reflection I agreed to remain for a further two years. I believe there was some discussion as to whether this period should be longer, but I was clear at that time that two years was the limit as far as I was concerned. My initial five year appointment was therefore extended to seven years and it was anticipated that I would retire at the end of 2007.
56. Some time in 2006 it became evident that there was going to be a continuity problem in the senior management structure of the force. I would need to check the records in some detail to work out how this arose, but I believe that along the way there had been some adjustment to the contracts of both Lenny Harper and John Pearson. They had also formed views of their own as to their probable departure dates. When the anticipated departure dates were known it became apparent that all three senior ranks were due to leave within, as I recall, the space of a year. There were then a number of discussions as to how this could be addressed. Lenny Harper said that he had retirement plans, and wanted to leave on the set date. I have a recollection that John Pearson expressed some interest in staying, but said that this ran counter to his intention to settle his small son in a school and a community where he could be sure that he could remain if he wished. Against this background “one more year” or something similar, did not fit in with his plans. Also, and significantly, there was yet again the issue that John Pearson appeared to be blocking the promotion of a local candidate, but the same could not be said at that time regarding myself or Mr Harper. I did some political soundings around this, and came to the conclusion that to extend John Pearson’s contract would not achieve the necessary political support. The political agenda of achieving local promotion would override any considerations of his value to the force. That left me to consider if I should remain in post in an attempt to provide continuity until a new senior team could be in place.
57. From my personal perspective there were two disadvantages with this. Firstly, it did not fit well with a number of plans and commitments, one of which was (and remains) family welfare issues in the UK. The second was the obvious fact that my professional qualifications were clearly dated, and that there was, in my view, a need to bring in someone with a more contemporary background.
58. Over a period of time I worked with others to address these Issues. This resulted in the production of a succession plan which offered a good prospect of resolving the problem. The first feature was for someone to understudy John Pearson closely, and spend a year or more shadowing him as his potential successor. The selected person would also benefit from secondments to U.K. forces and additional training. The person selected was the then head of C.I.D. André Bonjour, who seemed at that time to be the obvious choice. Initially things went according to plan, but then difficulties arose. The first setback was that as John Pearson was approaching retirement, André did not pass the assessment procedure for the rank of Superintendent, even though he was the only candidate. As I recall the selection panel consisted of, myself, Wendy Kinnard, Andrew Lewis (who was then Assistant Minister for Home Affairs,) and a member of the Jersey Appointments Commission, the background was that the position had been advertised internally, but only André Bonjour had applied. He had been set some written project work, some letters to answer and had undertaken psychometric tests. The panel met to consider the preliminary results before planning the next stage which was a presentation and interview. It quickly became clear that all members felt that the standard of the work seen so far did not justify promotion without competition, and the position should be advertised again, and other potential local candidates should be encouraged to apply. This happened and Shaun Du Val was successful, and promoted to Superintendent on John Pearson’s departure.
59. Soon afterwards information was received which suggested that André Bonjour had failed to take action in respect of some earlier reports of child abuse. The concerns were such that South Yorkshire Police were asked by Lenny Harper to conduct an investigation. This effectively put André Bonjour’s career on hold. It will be necessary to return to the matters investigated by South Yorkshire later in this statement.
60. Running alongside these events was the succession plan for my own position. Political soundings indicated that approval of a succession plan was unlikely unless it offered the prospect of local succession and promotion. At this stage I perhaps ought to explain that an external appointment to the force was not within the political remit of the Minister for Home Affairs. She could only begin the process by producing a written proposal. Approval was also needed from the Ministers who controlled Housing and Public Sector Employment, and it was probable that the States Employment Board and the Jersey Appointments Commission would need to be involved. Even if approved by all of the above, it would be open to States members to discuss the plan and if dissatisfied, to seek to have it overturned. This is the reality of island policing. What the force actually needs in terms of skills and experience is relegated to a side- issue. The overwhelming consideration is what can be achieved politically, and this is heavily dependent on the extent to which any plan for management succession favours locally qualified candidates. I still thought we needed an experienced “heavyweight” detective but it looked unlikely we were going to get one. I did however make it clear to both Wendy Kinnard and Andrew Lewis that I hoped the new D.C.O. would have current skills in the oversight of major crime enquiries. I was concerned that having failed to bridge the gap caused by the departure of John Pearson we would be left vulnerable until more local development could take place.
61. I met with Wendy Kinnard and Andrew Lewis. We discussed a draft succession plan. Basically it involved my existing contract being extended by a further three years to a total of ten years. This duration was chosen because it can, in some circumstances, trigger certain entitlements with regard to residency, should that be a preferred option. I made no secret of the fact that I wished to leave earlier, but the ten year contract was seen as a safeguard against the unforeseen, or a change in personal plans. It was then envisaged that we would recruit a new DCO from outside the island, and he or she would be designated as the next Chief Officer, subject to the requirement that this would enable locally qualified officers to be promoted into the consequential vacancies. When it was felt that locally qualified officers were ready to be promoted into the positions of D.C.O. and Superintendent I would retire and the succession plan would fall into place. The most probable candidates for the internal promotions were seen as Shaun Du Val for D.C.O. and David Minty for Superintendent. This plan then went forward into the political process, and the repercussions began.
62. Wendy Kinnard was the only female to hold Ministerial office in Jersey, and in my view she appeared to be under constant political pressure. She sometimes made comments on what she saw as the oppressive attitude of some Ministerial colleagues towards her. Her political influence was not strong. Her position was not helped by the fact that she did not always cope well with unforeseen media and political questions, sometimes becoming “flustered” and appearing confused. On occasions I would see the need to give interviews which “explained” or “clarified” something she had said. This had the side effect of providing an opening for further critical comment which raised questions regarding the chain of accountability, and sometimes challenges as to who was actually in charge of whom. In my view this was a symptom of the totally unsatisfactory arrangement whereby the Chief Officer is accountable to a single Minister. In the absence of a Police Authority or a governing Committee there is no mixture of strengths and weaknesses, no balance of views and no corporate strength to fall back on when under challenge. I have addressed this matter in greater detail in my Judicial Review application, a copy of which is with the Investigating Officer. Nevertheless, in spite of the imperfections of the system, I believe that I was always loyal and supportive of Wendy Kinnard during her time as President and then Minister for Home Affairs. I admired her political Integrity, her progressive values, and her courage as a female working in a male dominated environment.
63. As soon as the succession plan became known, the political debate started. There were difficulties with other Ministers on matters of detail, and threats from some States members to put forward a vote of no confidence on the basis that Wendy Kinnard had not planned for local succession to the rank of Chief Officer. I spent some time preparing briefs, presentations and answers to questions, as we responded to the criticism. For a while the matter hung in the balance but we eventually seemed to secure the agreement of all of the relevant parties. Then two things happened which threatened the whole proposal. The first occurred when the then Chief Minister, Frank Walker, asked the Chief Executive, Bill Ogley, to email me and ask whether Andre Bonjour had been on the Senior Command Course, and If not, why not? I took this as the revival of a recurrent proposal, sometimes repeated in politics and radio phone-ins by a range of individuals, that André should be the Chief Officer. Leaving aside the absurdity of what was being suggested this was an example of an agreed plan being undermined from within the heart of government. The second event happened when for some reason Wendy Kinnard was absent from the States during questions to Ministers, and Andrew Lewis answered a question in relation to the succession plan. In the process he unexpectedly departed from his script. He said that the position of Deputy Chief Officer and Chief Officer designate would after all be open to local officers. I later learned from a reliable source that he had apparently spoken to Chief Inspector David Minty and suggested that he apply.
64. All of this was completely unexpected. For some reason I learned of it while at the local airport. I immediately rang my P.A. Pauline Oliver, and dictated an email to the Chief Executive asking whether there had been a change in government policy. As it was, the email was drafted but not sent as I met Andrew Lewis at the airport and dealt with the issue face to face. I recall I pointed out that I had agreed to serve beyond retirement age in order to deliver an agreed succession plan which would ensure that the force had a person with relevant skills and qualifications in a senior position, and that I was not inclined to continue on any other basis. Andrew back-peddled. As I recall he said that he had been “misunderstood”. I then helped him draft a “clarification” in which he said, that what he had actually meant was that there were currently officers with Jersey residential qualifications who were serving in U.K. forces and that these officers may well apply (none did.)
65. After a few further difficulties we eventually began the process of advertising and selection. By then, more time had lapsed. I had been hoping for a long handover between the new DCO and Lenny Harper. It was even possible that had a successor been Identified earlier, and had the right approach been made, Mr Harper would have agreed to bring forward his retirement to facilitate the succession. All of this was now less probable due to the arguments and delays. The whole process left Wendy Kinnard exhausted. She had managed to stay firm under pressure, but had required strong support from myself. At the end of the process I was clear in my mind that we could not go through such an exercise again In the near future. We had to operate with the management resources we had, and try to bring the new appointment forward if that was possible. I have rehearsed all of this because there are some fundamental points which emerged:
· While others played a role, the succession plan was mostly my plan and it was my determination and drive to bring it to fruition which enabled it to survive. Without my input there would have been no external appointment of a D.C.O., no appointment of David Warcup, nobody at D.C.O. rank with the relevant experience skills and qualifications to be considered for the position of Chief Officer, and no “Operation Haven” either, as I would have walked away and retired earlier.
· At some stage when the command of ‘Rectangle’ is discussed, I might be asked ‘Why didn’t you just bring a senior officer in from the outside.’ The above account is offered in order to bring a touch of realism to that suggestion.
66. Finally it might be of benefit if I reiterate some key issues around the succession plan, and my agreement to serve beyond the normal retirement age of 60. Everyone knew that I was past the normal retirement age for my position, everyone knew that I had agreed to serve on to bridge a gap until others were ready to move into more senior positions. Additionally, although it was not greatly discussed, everyone knew that my training and qualifications were becoming dated. Ministers knew it, Civil Servants knew it, and other senior officers knew it. It was a decision taken and owned by a whole range of senior figures. all of whom went into the arrangement with their eyes open I have since read in the press that in England some Chief Constables who have agreed to serve beyond their retirement dates have been paid a significant retention fee. I do not remember these being discussed in my case.
67. Mr Leonard Harper’s Background and Experiences in the States Police.
I have indicated earlier, that at the selection stage it was noted Mr Harper had high standards, and that these were combined with intrusive tendencies It was foreseen that the combination of these attributes could generate tension in some quarters. It is however fair to say that there was some acceptance that, with the Force still in the aftermath of the 2000 H.M.I. report, a degree of robust management of performance and ethical issues was seen as overdue. At this point it might be of value to give some details of events prior to “Rectangle” in order to provide a history of attitudes and relationships. It is important to recognise that the enquiry developed against a background of previous experiences. Some of these experiences influenced how people subsequently behaved.
68. As Mr Harper settled into his role as DCO it became apparent that his intrusive approach to professional standards issues was revealing more problems than anyone had anticipated. A full account is not necessary, but it needs to be recorded that a significant number of staff left the force as a result of investigations into their conduct. Some of these staff had used their position for personal gain, and not all were police officers. Proportionately, civil servants became subject to investigation at about the same rate as police officers, and some of the attitudes displayed were revealing. For example, one member of staff, having been found to have ordered electronic equipment on the force account and taken it home, protested that such actions were a recognised “perk of the job.”
69. There were also a number of covert professional standards operations against police officers who appeared to be working in a relationship with drug importation gangs. These relationships involved, among other things, the leaking of intelligence from police systems. Mr Harper conducted these operations entirely within the resources of the force. He developed a circle of officers he could trust, and worked on a strict “need to know” basis. In a small force with one operating base, this created some unusual situations. I recall seeing four constables taking their meal together in the canteen. All had served in the force for some years and must have been colleagues at various stages. I knew that three of the constables had for some time been engaged in the covert investigation of the fourth. Yet there never seemed to be any compromise.
70. Mr Harper was particularly strong on diversity issues. People left the organisation having been found to have been engaged in sexual harassment. We also had what is believed to be the first case of dismissal in Jersey for racial abuse in the workplace. This proved to be controversial, particularly as racial abuse in public was not illegal. Running alongside this was the political agenda of Wendy Kinnard. As a politician I think that she could be fairly described as liberal left – Her political agenda overlapped with Mr Harper’s professional agenda. She was involved in groups which had been established to try and bring discrimination laws into force in Jersey. It was not illegal to discriminate on the basis of race or gender, and she hoped to change this. I gave her periodic discreet support with a number of initiatives but the task proved too formidable, and her efforts made little progress. We had a little more success in relation to racial abuse. I worked, again with Detective Inspector Alison Fossey as I recall, to draft a Law based partly on the English Public Oder Act which would have addressed some public order issues but also provided powers to deal with racial abuse. The first attempt to introduce the Law failed, having been criticised as “political correctness.” However, a weakened draft was introduced a year or two later and eventually came into force.
71. I also had some engagement on the general issue of corruption. It was in relation to this matter that an apparent oversight by the Home Affairs Department had adverse consequences which to some extent carried forward into Rectangle. In order that the matter can be fully understood, it is necessary to draw attention to the late Lillie Langtry (1853-1929) who was reported to be the mistress of Edward VII. Miss Langtry holds the distinction of being the only person known to have been convicted of corruption in Jersey, in a case which, if I have heard it right, involved the bribing of a customs officer in relation to a passport. The Langtry case set a precedent in respect of any future prosecution. Shortly after my initial appointment I attended a meeting with politicians and law officers who were considering drafting a Jersey corruption law. It was said that in order for Jersey to retain approval as an international finance centre it was necessary to have such a law. I do not remember anyone saying that such a law was a good thing in itself. I believe that discussions continued for three or four years. I remember making a number of representations concerning what I thought to be the weaknesses in the draft law but I do not remember these being influential.
72. Eventually the Corruption law was adopted by the States on 25th October 2005 and was sanctioned by the Privy Council on 9th May 2006. It was registered by the Royal Court on 26th May 2006. It was against this background that Mr Harper received information which drew his attention to the fact that one tow-away contractor had a near monopoly of police business. This was said to be a consequence of him providing gifts and favours to police officers. The included such things as free fuel, hire cars and use of accommodation in Spain. To shorten the story, a type of amnesty was agreed and in consequence about 20 police officers made statements describing a corrupt relationship with the contractor, who was a Mr Roy Boschat. Mr Harper caused the conduct of Boschat, and some police officers who had not come forward, to be investigated.
73. For some politicians and public figures this was the last straw. A political and media campaign was waged against Mr Harper. The core of the argument against him was that the award of business in exchange for favours was a traditional part of Jersey life and that Mr Harper was an intruder who was interfering in “The Jersey Way.” Prominent in these attacks was Senator Ben Shenton. Running parallel with this was a letter campaign and personal threats to Mr Harper emanating from Boschat and his associates. The documents disclosed to me also make reference to letters from a Mrs Mauger. She is Boschat’s sister and effectively Boschat under another name. At some stage files were submitted alleging offences under the Corruption Law. Not long afterwards I learned that lawyers were trying to see if Boschat’s conduct fell within the parameters of the Langtry case. When I asked why, I was told that although the corruption law had been through the legislative processes, nobody had brought forward an “Appointed Day Act” to bring it into force. I have since been told that the responsibility for this rested with the Home Affairs Department and for some reason the need for an Appointed Day Act had apparently been overlooked. The consequence was that Boschat was not eligible for prosecution for corruption and effectively no action was taken. Apparently prompted by these events the Minister for Home Affairs brought forward an Appointed Day Act which was lodged on 2nd February 2007. Soon afterwards the law came into force as the “Corruption (Jersey) Law 2006.”
74. There was however one further episode which led to Boschat appearing in court. The way this happened had some influence on how some issues relating to the abuse enquiry were approached. The chain of events began when Boschat gave evidence in the defence of a police officer who had been charged with disclosing information from police computers. As I recall, it was believed that the police officer and Boschat had a mutual interest in vehicles with unusual number plates. The belief was that police systems were being used to identify the owners of such vehicles in order that Boschat could consider purchase. When he was giving evidence Boschat appeared to say that he had on one occasion asked the police officer to check a police computer for owner details. I recall that Mr Harper obtained a transcript of the trial and caused further enquiries to be made. These further enquiries provided some corroboration of what Boschat had said in evidence.
75. A file was submitted to the Law Officers Department and a member of that department directed that Boschat be charged. My recollection is that Boschat was in the custody area waiting to be charged when two States Members went to see the Attorney General Mr William Bailhache, and made representations on Boschat’s behalf. The States Members concerned were Deputies Colin Egre and Sarah Ferguson (who has since been elected Senator.) The Attorney General then intervened personally, and directed that Boschat should not be charged and that the papers be referred to him. This was done and nothing was heard for some weeks. At some point a journalist became interested and addressed a question to the Attorney General. Shortly afterwards Boschat was charged and later appeared in Court. I believe that there are some email exchanges involving Mr Harper and the Attorney General which will corroborate this sequence of events.
76. To conclude the story, at Boschat’s trial, the Magistrate ruled that the main evidence against him, was that which he gave himself on oath when he was a witness, and that its use would infringe his rights against self incrimination. Accordingly, he was acquitted. Nevertheless, I know that this episode was influential in shaping Mr Harper’s views of the relationship between the Law Officers and politics, and that it entered his thinking when he considered how issues of arrest, advice and charge should be approached during “Rectangle”.
77. Running parallel with this was a series of complaints made by Boschat against Mr Harper, alleging abuse of authority and related allegations. This in itself raised interesting questions. The D.C.O. is appointed by the Minister for Home Affairs and appears to be ultimately accountable to the Minister. There is no disciplinary code relating to the Deputy Chief Officer. The complaints by Boschat therefore raised interesting legal issues, and the advice of the Attorney General was sought on how they should be progressed and what, if anything, anyone was entitled to do should they turn out to be substantiated. Eventually I asked Devon and Cornwall Police to investigate. As is customary when a U.K. Force is invited to operate in Jersey I ensured that they were given a designated point of contact in the force to assist them with local laws and procedures. I have been told since, that none of the complaints were substantiated. The issue of who, if anyone has disciplinary powers in relation to the D.C.O. was not, so far as I recall, fully resolved.
78. These occurrences led to a series of attitudes and perceptions which impacted on future events. In some sections of society, Lenny Harper, Wendy Kinnard and to some extent myself, became regarded by some elements in the political community and the media as dangerous radicals, interfering in the island’s traditional ways and poking our noses into places where we were not welcome. To others, Lenny Harper was a popular hero who was rattling the cage of those with reactionary attitudes and interests, and bringing a welcome and challenging approach. Mr Harper sometimes spoke of these things. He was confident that he was carrying out his duties in a proper manner, but felt that large sections of the political establishment were out to get him. He also felt that support from the Law Officers was weak, and that there was no real appetite for a challenging approach driven by values of fairness and integrity.
79. I have been asked by the investigating officer to make specific comment on my view of Mr Harper’s strengths and weaknesses. His strengths were evident. He was hardworking, tenacious, and committed to maintaining high standards of conduct and performance. He was active in maintaining the traditional role of the Deputy of the Force in protecting my interests, and acting as an effective sounding board and gatekeeper on difficult issues. I could depend on his loyalty, and had no reservations regarding him being in charge of the force during my absence.
80. In addressing his less positive qualities some may expect me to speak of his ability to work in partnerships and his approach to professional standards issues. But in this respect, all was not as it is sometimes alleged to have been. I found him to be active and committed in respect of those partnerships where he felt that there was corresponding commitment on the part of other participants, and where there was a worthwhile and progressive agenda. For example, on his own initiative, he at one time formed a group representing minority interests in the island. I forget the title of the group, but the purpose was to establish links and to provide a sounding board for the Force, and a voice for less visible elements of the community. I recall that he established contacts with the gay community and with people of Portuguese heritage. I am aware that Stephen Regal, who later became a member of the Independent Advisory Group, may have been involved at some stage. He appears to touch upon the matter in his statement. For an alleged “dinosaur” Lenny Harper was remarkably active on progressive issues. However, he was not one for maintaining the appearance of a relationship where he felt that his commitment was not being reciprocated. He was no diplomat, and his disdain for those who he regarded as unprofessional or obstructive to progress was sometimes visible. Over time he came to have a negative view of a number of Jersey Politicians, many of the senior figures in the public sector, and the Law Officers Department. In those cases he tended to manage relationships in a rather formal and professional way. I do not recall him being deliberately offensive in those relationships but there was no visible warmth either.
81. On professional standards issues he was direct and robust. Together we had inherited a viper’s nest of problems and set about them with determination. Island police forces can present some challenging issues. It needs to be remembered that in Jersey people of all characters, backgrounds and positions in later life, often went to the same school, and in some cases are related to each other. This can create a network of relationships between police officers and other sections of the community. Sometimes this works to the advantage of the Force but at other times it can lead to the risk of compromise and similar problems. There is only one significant base of police operations, and any other premises used by the Force are only a few miles away. Unlike larger forces, problems cannot be addressed by the transfer of personnel. Nobody can be given a “fresh start” in another division. There are no other divisions. Problems have to be addressed directly. They cannot be passed to another group of senior officers in another place. Against this background Mr Harper brought to bear what I think can be fairly described as a low tolerance level on conduct issues. This was particularly noticeable where he felt that a member of staff was not responding to his agenda for improvement. Nevertheless it was not within his power to impose significant disciplinary sanctions. Any sanction beyond advice and warnings was a matter for me. I applied my own judgement. Sometimes my findings in disciplinary matters would support his view, Sometimes they very clearly did not. That is a matter of record.
82. He was a firm believer in the rehabilitation of offending officers wherever that was possible. Keith Bray, who has provided a witness statement, is an example. Keith was a good officer who went through a period of difficulty and had a series of disciplinary problems, all of which Lenny Harper addressed by advice, warnings, and changes to duties. As soon as it was felt that Keith had recovered his position Lenny was keen to bring him back into the fold. Keith was made acting inspector for part of the enquiry and trusted with high levels of responsibility. Some officers admired what Lenny had done in improving standards in the force, others disliked him intensely. That is the nature of things. It is not the role of the Deputy in a police force to be always popular. If it is, I know of nobody who has achieved it. I never did.
83. Finally, I was sometimes asked if I thought that Lenny could be a successor to my own position. Leaving aside the issue of qualifications, I thought not. The Chief Officer’s position demands wider skills. I have to maintain a working relationship with all manner of people, some of whom I neither admire nor respect. This requires degrees of tact and diplomacy which were not Lenny’s strongest skills. He was plain, personal and direct. He was best suited to the position he held, and the job he enjoyed.
84 The Handover to David Warcup and Related Issues.
Before I move to the next stage it may be appropriate to deal with some peripheral items raised in the statements of witnesses, but not part of the core of the allegations. I think that they are worth covering at this stage for a number of reasons. It might for example assist the investigating Officer in gaining a better understanding of the background to the main events, it might also assist with an assessment of the credibility of some of the witnesses. The investigating officer may feel entitled to conclude that if some witnesses are not speaking the truth in respect of some marginal issues, they may be less credible in respect of core issues.
85. I see from my notebook that operations began at Haul de la Garenne on Tuesday 19th February 2008. The following morning I had my first face-to-face meeting with David Warcup in my office at police headquarters. (Notebook 07/358 pages 78-80.) This had been preceded by a number of telephone conversations. Mr Warcup was a candidate for Mr Harper’s position at the lime, but already emerging as a person who was showing strong interest, and who appeared to have the qualifications and background suitable for the post. However, in reviewing his application at the short listing stage I had made notes and given advice in relation to the fact that he had only ever served in Northumbria Police. This was my only matter of concern at that time, but I saw it as significant. Having moved forces myself on a number of occasions I am aware of how unsettling the changes in culture and working practices can be, particularly when the new force is in a different legal jurisdiction. It is easy for a new appointee to become unsettled by the change, and to retreat to the comfort zone of regarding the practices of their previous force as “the right way to do things” and everything in their new environment which is different as something which has to be changed. In policing terms Jersey is about as different as it is possible to get. I know that at various stages I alerted Mr Warcup to this danger and gave him examples from my own experience.
86. At our first meeting and in subsequent meetings and conversations, I spoke about the needs of the enquiry, and expressed the hope that succession could take place as early as possible. Once his appointment had been confirmed I encouraged him to think about how things could be taken forward after Mr Harper’s departure, and consulted with him regularly when decisions needed to be taken in order to ensure that I was not acting in a way which was inconsistent with his intentions.
87. I offer one example at this time. André Baker, in paragraph 50 of his statement speaks of the need to discuss options with regard to who would be S.I.O. after the departure of Lenny Harper. Paragraph 16.1 of the third Homicide Working Party report sets out a range of options. Paragraph 55 of Mr Baker’s statement indicates that on 20th May 2008 I had a very open mind on the subject. Paragraph 71 of his statement speaks to events on 30th June 2008 when there was a meeting involving myself, David Warcup, and the Homicide Working Group. It can be inferred from the text that Mr Baker was expecting a discussion of the options. Instead he discovered that David Warcup was to take the strategic lead and that a S.I.O. was to be seconded from the U.K. He states “There was no further discussion on the options as he had made his mind up and was very strong about this.” This is correct. I had consulted prior to the meeting with Mr Warcup and we had agreed that this was his preferred option. I then used the authority of my position to ensure that Mr Warcup got the management structure he wanted.
88. In all respects my handover to Mr Warcup was thorough and professional. It must be remembered that this was not an ordinary induction process. Mr Warcup had been agreed by Ministers as my successor. It was my understanding of the spirit of the succession plan that I should progressively withdraw from setting the policy for the force and allow Mr Warcup to gradually take the lead to the point where a handover could be seamless. I had no intentions of relinquishing my command in any formal sense, but I recognised that it would not be within the spirit of the plan for me to develop policy in a way which was not consistent with Mr Warcup’s longer term Intentions.
89. As soon as it became known that Mr Warcup was the successful candidate I began a series of contacts intended to facilitate his induction into the force. I asked if he could start as soon as possible, and take an early handover of the position of D.C.O. (at that time held by Shaun Du Val in an acting capacity.) This would have enabled him to gain an early oversight of “Rectangle” and present me with plans to take it forward. He said that he could not do this, as his Chief Constable had commitments which required that he remain in Northumbria during his notice period. This was a setback. I felt that we were ready for a fresh start and an early handover would have been welcomed.
90. I nevertheless pressed ahead with a range of actions intended to ensure that he had a positive and welcoming introduction to the force. I arranged for the production of an induction programme which would allow him to visit key players in the force, the public sector and the wider community. My recollection is that my then staff officer, Jeremy Phillips administered this on my behalf, using templates which had been developed for previous newcomers. It was passed electronically between the forces until agreed by both parties. The induction programme should still be available to the investigating officer. I also gave a number of media interviews, making positive statements regarding Mr Warcup’s background and achievements. I spoke to the Chief Executive to the Council of Ministers Bill Ogley regarding Mr Warcup’s role on the Corporate Management Board. Normally deputies and substitutes are not allowed. I made representations to the effect that an exception should be made in Mr Warcup’s case given that he was my intended successor. After discussion this was agreed. I took him to a meeting of the Board and introduced him to key partners. Our joint presence should be recorded in the minutes.
91. Housing is always a difficult issue for newcomers to the island. Mr Warcup indicated that he preferred to rent a property. He also told me that there was a complication in that his wife had a dog to which she was attached. He had become aware that Jersey landlords normally specify that no dogs are allowed. On being told this I made use of local contacts and identified potential properties where the landlord may be willing to waive this consideration. I passed details to Mr Warcup. At some stage Liz Webster, who was the head of HR for Home Affairs approached me regarding a request she had received from Mr Warcup. She said that he had asked for his first three months rent to be paid by the force. The justification for this request being that Mr Warcup had said he had been unable to sell his house in England and would therefore be paying both mortgage and rent at the same time. I was told that this was not a usual entitlement but there was a degree of discretion, and if I gave my agreement then it could be done. I thought that the request was presumptive, and appeared to show an inappropriate attitude, but I nevertheless gave my agreement in the interests of good relations and a smooth transition.
92. A date was set for Mr Warcup to be sworn in at the Royal Court. I arranged positive media releases and media opportunities following the event. I accompanied him personally and introduced him to key individuals in the media and public life. I suggested lines to take which included maintaining the momentum of the enquiry. I recall that he used the material I had suggested during his interviews.
93. At every stage during his induction I was positive and supportive. I made it clear that I regarded Rectangle as his operation, and although periodic briefings and updates would be welcomed, I would not interfere, I particularly assured him that I would not be giving any directions to Mick Gradwell. I would concentrate on the running of the force for the time being and would assess from time to time how the transition was developing and what advice, if any, I should give to the new Minister, when elected, regarding a possible handover of command. It may be remembered that Mr Warcup’s induction to the force was taking place In August 2008. The elections for Senators and Deputies were due in October and November, and a new government would be appointed in December. The serving Chief Minister, the Minister for Home Affairs, and the Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, were not standing as candidates. Different people would be appointed to these key positions. It was therefore anticipated that in January 2009 there would be an opportunity to sit down with key individuals and discuss the future direction of the Force, and the structure of its political and professional leadership. I took the view that no significant change of direction was appropriate in the meantime.
94. The working relationship with Mr Warcup appeared to be going well, but there were some negative signals. For example, he would persistently arrive late for meetings. It was my habit to insist that meetings would always start precisely on time. I believe that this is appropriate in a professional organisation, and assists in setting a businesslike tone. Mr Warcup seemed to make a point of being a few minutes late, and neither apologising nor offering comment, I tried not to take this as a deliberate slight and preferred to believe that he had formed this habit in a less professional organisation. I made the occasional comment but decided to wait a while before addressing the issue directly. I hoped at the time that he would gradually adjust to the requirements of his new environment.
95. There was one other negative episode which I remember well. This was the morning on which we were both booked to undertake our Officer Safety Programme (O.S.P.) training. I was conscious that my annual qualification was due for renewal and had asked for my own training to be at a time when Mr Warcup was available. So far as I recall, it was in his induction programme, and would certainly have been in his diary. While I am not familiar with requirements elsewhere, local procedures necessitate that officers are O.S.P. trained at all times, and particularly when undertaking uniform patrols. As Chief Officer of the Force I patrol in uniform on a regular basis, including occasional night shifts, late night shopping, and special events. During these patrols I attend operational incidents on the same basis as any other police officer. Over the years of my command this has led to an expectation in the community that their Chief Officer of Police will be visible and accessible. Such patrols also afford an opportunity for informal feedback from the community and States members. Patrols during the lunchtime break in States sittings can be a useful opportunity for chance encounters and informal meetings.
96. On the morning in question I had changed into my tracksuit and was ready to go downstairs to undertake the training when David Warcup appeared. He had not changed from his office clothes. He said that he had remembered another commitment and could not do the O.S.P. training after all. I then went ahead without him. This did nothing for his credibility as staff became aware of what had happened. By this time a picture was emerging of a somewhat bookish individual who was perhaps less comfortable with the visible leadership aspects of his role. Nevertheless, I still felt at that time that although his development needs were greater than anticipated, they were still capable of being addressed.
97. I now turn to some of the other negative comments which feature variously in the statements of Mr Warcup and Mr Gradwell. Both seem to think that I do not work long enough hours. This is untrue. I am either at work or available for duty 24/7. I rarely take days off and hardly ever take “proper” holidays. During leave periods I am either available locally or attending to family matters in the U.K. I live a few minutes’ walk from my office and have created a small office in a spare bedroom of my home. That office was connected to police IT. systems. I also kept a police radio at home. I sometimes prefer to study files and documents at home rather than in the headquarters environment. That is not an unusual way or working. My notebooks show much of my recorded work activity. It can be seen that I frequently record the fact that I am undertaking clerical work on evenings, weekends, and public holidays. In most of those occasions I will also have used force I.T. systems, either to communicate, or to monitor operational events. The investigating officer will be able to verify this.
98. It is also said that I pay frequent visits to the gymnasium at the Police Station. It is true that I do this approximately three times a week. It is a good habit and I recommend it. Mostly it is at lunchtime but occasionally it is at other times. I do not take proper lunch breaks. Normally I have either a quick bowl of soup in the canteen, or, if I am busy, a sandwich in my office. I am a police officer. I need to maintain a level of fitness to carry out my duties
99. Mr Warcup suggests that I allocated him a disproportionate amount of cover duties. He is missing the point. We are an island force. For the senior leadership there is no time off, there are no days off, and there is no “off duty”. I am permanently available when on the island. I suggested that Mr Warcup took “first call” for a while in order that staff could become accustomed to dealing with him, and to enable him to establish a profile. I also made it clear that I would be available at the same time, and that he should speak to me whenever he felt the need. He did this when issues arose regarding Chief Inspector John Sculthorp. He set out a proposed course of action which I discussed with him. I recall that his plan was agreed with some minor changes. (Notebook 08/95 page 79.) In any event calls off duty are rare. Weeks can pass without a call being received. It is barely an imposition for an experienced senior officer.
100. Mr Gradwell suggests that I spend a disproportionate number of lunchtimes at the Rotary Club. (Presumably I do this when not in the gymnasium or when I have not gone home early.) He is wrong. The Rotary Club of Jersey has a meeting programme which includes one lunchtime meeting per month. About a year ago I received a warning letter for poor attendance. I ought to add that the club is active in supporting community initiatives in which the police are partners. My attendance at any time can be justified on that basis alone. The keeper of the club attendance register is Mr Chris Borney, who lives near La Rue de Samares. His full contact details are in the public domain.
101. Mr Gradwell says that I did not discuss the enquiry with him in detail. He is right about that. I made it clear that I would not cut across his line of management which was to Mr Warcup, with whom I was in regular contact regarding Rectangle and other issues. I did however ensure that I personally welcomed him and checked that we were doing all that we could to support his secondment. He confirmed that this was the case, and made particular positive comment regarding some extra travel arrangements which had been made to enable his wife to visit. I did warn him about the local sensitivities to high profile “outsiders,” and gave him some general advice regarding the need to show respect for these sensitivities and local traditions. I also warned him that his presence as S.I.O. was a disappointment to the expectations of some local officers, and that he should not be intrusive beyond his allocated role. He had been seconded for a limited period to undertake a specific task and nothing more. That part at least fell on stony ground. He had not been seconded long when Superintendent Shaun Du Val alerted me to an email chain which referred to the need for the Law Officers to interview and select a police officer for a secondment. I recall that the Law Officers Department had asked for a “representative of the force” to take part in the process and Mick Gradwell had, for some reason, allowed himself to be selected by the Law Officers Department for that role. This set a number of alarm bells ringing among the Operations Management team. The controversy which followed the appointment of John Pearson came to mind.
102. There was clearly a view within the force management team that this was evidence of a “plot” to retain Mr Gradwell in a senior position in the force to the detriment of local succession. I assured Shaun Du Val that I had no knowledge of the matter, and that there was no plot. Shaun made some contact with the relevant parties and smoothed things over. I recall that he later told me that it would be best if I did not get further involved. I believe that this episode showed that Mr Gradwell had not absorbed the simple advice I had given him. I cannot think how I could have made it simpler. Moreover, on reading his witness statement I see that he has not learned from the experience. At paragraph 33 he appears to say that he is joint third in seniority in the force. Unless something is going on which has so far not been made public, he is not a member of the force at all. He is a member of Lancashire Constabulary seconded to work temporarily in the island for a limited purpose. If he persists in taking any different position it will be damaging to morale and lead to understandable tensions in the management team.
103. I now turn to one of the lighter features of the allegations, which is Mr Gradwell’s assertion that I did not acknowledge or speak to him at a reception held prior to a community service at St. Helier’s Parish Hall. Apparently he wishes to complain about this. I remember the event in question. I saw that Mick Gradwell was there, and I think that I acknowledged him across the room. It is possible that I did not speak to him. This would be because I was circulating among the visitors and members of the public who were present. In my view events of this kind are too often characterised by groups of police officers huddled together, to the detriment of the purpose of the occasion. I did not see Mr Gradwell circulating. He seemed to be spending his time in close discussion with David Warcup. When the event started I chose to sit among people who were not police officers. As I recall I was seated close to the Dean of Jersey and his wife, with whom I had some conversation. I noted that Mick Gradwell was seated in the row behind. He was next to David Warcup. I consider Mr Gradwell’s complaint to be childish, frivolous, and unbecoming of a senior police officer.
104. I now turn to a matter of more substance. In paragraph 515 of his statement David Warcup refers to the locked cabinet in my office and states. “I established that Mr POWER refused to disclose the combination of the safe as a result of which I arranged for a locksmith to attend.” It is untrue that I refused to provide details of the combination. I note that Mr Wayne Bonne was present when the cabinet was opened. I understand that Mr Bonne is a member of the Wiltshire force and is assisting the investigating officer. By virtue of his presence he appears to be a witness in this matter. I am content for the investigating officer to come to his own assessment of what implications, if any, this has for Mr Bonne’s role in this enquiry.
105. The true facts, which can be supported by documents and witness evidence, are as follows. In early December 2008 I received notification that the combination for the cabinet had been requested. This request came to me by way of a telephone call from Liz Webster, who is my appointed contact with the Force and States Departments. I agreed at once to provide the combination. I provided a written authority for the cabinet to be entered for legitimate purposes, and asked that Advocate Lakeman, who was acting as a friend and advisor at that time, be present to represent my interests. On 15th December 2008 Mr Ian Crich, who had previously been authorised to communicate on behalf of the Minister for Home Affairs, wrote and confirmed that the arrangement was agreed and that a Mr Phil Wells would be the point of contact. I placed the combination in a sealed envelope and handed it to Advocate Lakeman. On 22 December Mr Crich wrote again. He confirmed that there had been contact between Advocate Lakeman and Mr Wells but added that Mr Warcup was objecting to the agreed arrangements. On 9th January 2009 Mr Crich wrote again and stated that Mr Warcup was not willing to proceed on the basis of the agreement which had been reached in our correspondence. This was in spite of the fact that Mr Crich had apparently been authorised to deal with the matter on the Minister’s behalf. I sent a reply dated 12th January 2009 indicating that I was taking advice.
106. On 13th January 2009 my professional representative, Dr Timothy Brain, Chief Constable of Gloucestershire, Wrote to the Minister confirming my continued willingness to assist in this matter and offering two senior police officers as possible alternative representatives to be present on my behalf. They were the Connétable of St Helier and the Chef de Police of St Peter. The letter from Dr Brain was ignored. No acknowledgement or reply was ever received. I later learned that the cabinet had been opened and that no person representing my interests had been present. In the light of these events it is my position that nothing in my conduct in relation to access to the cabinet was in any way unreasonable. I was professional and co-operative at every stage and certainly nothing done on my part amounted to a refusal to disclose the combination. I consider that the statement made in relation to this matter by Mr Warcup is deliberately false and misleading in a way which is calculated to misrepresent my actions damage my interests.
107. Finally, in this section of the report. I note that Mr Warcup states that I lack interest and motivation. He is wrong in that assessment. I have a longer experience in the police service than anyone I know. I do not get animated, I do not get excited and I never panic. I am calm, controlled and give good advice, particularly in respect of the complexities of managing a police service in Jersey. One of Mr Warcup’s problems is that he would not listen to my advice. Anyone who doubts my stamina and ability to deal with long and complex challenges has not been paying attention for the previous eight months. I will deal with other matters raised by Mr Warcup later in this statement.
108. Other Matters Relevant to the Reliability of some Witnesses. I now hope to cover briefly some peripheral issues, which may assist the investigating officer in an assessment of the credibility of some witnesses. The first relates to the statement of Andrew Lewis dated 6th January 2009. The statement says a number of things which are not true. However the claim which can most readily be checked is at paragraph 19 in which Mr Lewis states that I “dismissed” allegations of bullying and harassment made by Customs and Immigration staff working in the joint intelligence bureau. This is untrue. When I became aware of these allegations I caused them to be registered as formal complaints, and they were notified to the Police Complaints Authority. The allegations were fully investigated and one was found to be substantiated. One police officer was given formal words of advice. Deputy Lewis was updated on the progress and the outcome of these complaints during the course of the Minister’s meetings with myself and senior staff to which he refers elsewhere in his statement. The investigating officer should have little difficulty in verifying this.
109. I now turn to the case of the documentation given to me at the time of my suspension, which has already been subject of correspondence dating back over eight months, and is currently subject of an appeal under the Administrative Decisions (Review) (Jersey) Law 1982. Copies of the relevant documents are in the possession of the investigating officer. In their statements both Mr Ogley and Mr Lewis taken together appear to claim that the letter notifying me that I would be subject of the disciplinary process was created on the morning of the suspension itself, namely Wednesday 12th November 2008, or at the earliest the previous evening, and was in consequence of information they were given on the 11th November 2008. Neither Mr Ogley or Mr Lewis make any reference in their statements either to the letter from the Minister to the Chief Executive which is required under paragraph 2.1.1. of the code in order to initiate the disciplinary process, or to the letter of suspension itself. However, both seem to claim that the decision to activate the disciplinary process was taken in consequence of information received on the 11th November 2008, and by implication, not before.
110. My initial views of these events are covered in more detail in my two affidavits, copies of which are in the possession of the investigating officer. When I first examined the three documents I felt that they were not consistent with what I was being told about the sequence of events and the decision making process. Firstly, they are unusually legalistic and complex. They seem to be the product of significant thought and preparation. It is not immediately evident that they could have been produced within the timescale apparently claimed. Secondly, the suspension letter refers to a meeting earlier in the day which everyone agrees did not happen. No explanation is offered for this by anyone. It is just left hanging in the air. There is also the question of the order in which the different documents were created. For example, was the letter confirming the suspension created before or after the letter initiating the disciplinary process? Even if it was afterwards, what was the gap between the two, and what consideration took place during that period?
111. I have sought the disclosure of this material for a variety of reasons, one of which is to test the truthfulness of the official account of the decision to suspend. If key figures have lied about this, they may have also lied about other things. My attempts to obtain this information have proved to be challenging. Jersey does not have a freedom of information law and the political culture is one which gives priority to confidentiality over transparency. There Is a Code of Practice on Access to Information. It can, with effort, be found on the States website. Civil servants are not trained in its use, nor are they encouraged to use it. I have nevertheless sought this information under the Code, but at the time of writing the disclosure of the Information continues to be refused, and nothing has been provided. It is of course a matter for the investigating officer to consider to what extent this issue is relevant to the credibility of some key witnesses. I offer the view that in the context of the determined refusal which currently extends over eight months, to provide basic Information, it is almost beyond belief that there is nothing to hide. In my view the refusals and the evasions speak for themselves. Something occurred which is not consistent with the official account of the decision to suspend, and there is a determination at the highest level to prevent the truth being known.
112. It may be of assistance to point out that Mr Ian Crich appears to be a key player in both the issues over access to the secure cabinet, and the suspension process. I am told that Mr Crich is now working in the UK, and therefore presumably beyond the influence of the Jersey authorities. The value or otherwise of Mr Crich as a witness may be something which the investigating officer may wish to consider.
113. Equivocation in the Use of the Term “Chief Officer. Collin’s dictionary defines “Equivocate” as “to use vague or ambiguous language in order to deceive someone or to avoid telling the truth.” Equivocation has a long history in the English language, and in religion and politics. During periods of religious persecution in the 15th and 16th centuries, it was taught and written about as a doctrine by means of which believers could provide misleading answers to questions without committing the sin of lying. In more recent times equivocation has been used by political speech writers, and sometimes lawyers, to construct misleading arguments. The skill in equivocation is to shift the meaning or a word or phrase in mid argument in order to justify a conclusion which “sounds right” but is in fact invalid.
114. Equivocation does not necessarily involve deception. There are a number of examples in popular speech which equivocation is used to convey a meaningful statement. A common example is the phrase “boys will be boys”. Taken literarily, this statement is entirely tautological. “Boys will be boys” appears to be in the same category as “yellow is yellow” or “hot is hot,” that is, the phrase is circular and provides no information. Yet when I say “boys will be boys” I am communicating a message. This is because I am equivocating. In “boys will be boys” the first use of the word “boys” refers to young men. The second use of the word “boys” refers to persons who are inclined to mischief. Thus by means of equivocation I am able to convey a meaningful statement without deception.
115. I now invite consideration of the following:
· There are rules which apply to Chief Officers
· Mr Power Is a Chief Officer
· Therefore the rules apply to Mr Power.
116. This statement, if made in the context of “Rectangle”, would have many of the classic features of a deceptive argument based on equivocation. The equivocation is in the change of meaning of the term “Chief Officer”. The first time it is used it appears to relate to persons who are eligible to be a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (A.C.P.O.). The second time it is used it appears to relate to the head of the Police Service in Jersey. They are two different things. The argument may appear at first sight to be valid, but when the equivocation is understood the argument collapses. It fails because it seeks to provide a single conclusion in relation to two separate categories of person. I will deal with the second of the two different meanings of the term “Chief Officer” first.
117. It has been explained earlier in this statement that the position of the Chief Officer of the States Police is a unique position, which is not directly comparable to any corresponding position in the British Isles. The head of the force just happens to be called the “Chief Officer.” There are two main reasons for this. The first is that “Chief Officer” is the term used to describe the executive head of a public service in Jersey. For example, the head of the health service is a “Chief Officer,” the head of Education is a “Chief Officer” and so on. We meet as a group of “Chief Officers” to co-ordinate policy for the public sector. Another reason why I am called a “Chief Officer” is to avoid confusion with the role of the Connétables (or “Constables”) who are elected representatives of their Parish, and are legally responsible for policing and prosecutions within their jurisdiction.
118. For similar reasons the head of the police service in Guernsey is also called a “Chief Officer”. In the Isle of Man the head of the force is called a “Chief Constable,” and in Gibraltar he is called a “Commissioner.” If I had been called a “Commissioner” then the comparison with the role of a “Chief Officer” would not appear to be quite so straightforward. Yet all that would be different would be the name.
119. I now turn to the term “Chief Officer” as it may be understood in England. As I understand it the term is applied to any police officer above the rank of Chief Superintendent, and to any civilian member of staff operating at executive level with a direct line of reporting to a Chief Constable. (There may be some minor exceptions, but they are not important for the current purpose.) Furthermore, it is commonly understood that when the term “Chief Officer” is used in the context of the conduct or oversight of significant operations it is nearly always addressed to Operational Assistant Chief Constables. In putting forward this view I find some support in the statements of Mr Gradwell and Mr Warcup.
120. For example, in paragraphs 9 and 10 of his statement Mr Gradwell speaks of major crime investigations and says ‘Dependant on the type of investigation a Gold Group would be formed or I would report to a Detective Chief Superintendent. For example in relation to the Morecombe Bay tragedy I would report weekly to a Detective Chief Superintendent and monthly to Gold Group. The Gold Group would usually be chaired by an officer of Assistant Chief Constable rank.
121. David Warcup, who has never been appointed to head a police force, states in paragraph 31 of his statement “As previously mentioned, I have almost ten years experience as a Chief Officer of Police before transferring to the States of Jersey Police. In paragraph 34 he states “As a Chief Officer of Police I have had experience in including the management and oversight of serious and organised crime investigation.” He then goes on to list training and qualifications he has attained as a Chief Officer. The Investigating Officer may also note that his training in relation to major crime investigation took place in 2003, when he was an Assistant Chief Constable, and two years before he was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable. There appears to be no record of any training in respect of criminal investigation since that promotion.
122. Equivocation in relation to the term “Chief Officer” is used extensively throughout the evidence in Operation Haven. Three examples may suffice at this time. Mark Houze is apparently drawn into discussing the responsibilities of a “Chief Officer” In paragraphs 51 and 52 of his statement. I am sure that his equivocation is unintentional but it is equivocation nevertheless. Bryan Sweeting equivocates throughout his statement. His criticism of my role would not work otherwise. André Baker, in his second statement, uses the term “Chief Officer” in an equivocal way but adds at paragraph 6 “it must be remembered that Lenny HARPER was also a Chief Officer.”
123. For the avoidance of doubt my position is that I am a Chief Officer in Jersey, and nowhere else. The term “Chief Officer” has been applied to my post for purely local reasons. It has been used locally for more than 50 years. It is the local term for the head of a public service, and at no time has it ever been recorded that its use locally is intended to enable a comparison to be made with the duties of a person who may be called a Chief Officer in another jurisdiction. The term “Chief Officer” as used in various guidelines which are said to apply to police services in England has a completely different meaning. For most operational purposes the term when used under English guidelines applies to Assistant Chief Constables; a rank I ceased to hold in 1994. I do not regard myself as a “Chief Officer” within the terms of the English guidelines nor do I regard it as fair or reasonable that such a direct comparison should be made.
124. Operation Rectangle and its Significance to the Force and to the Island. I have been asked to write about “The significance and impact of OP Rectangle to the SOJP and the island of Jersey.” The belief that there have been cases of child abuse which have not been properly addressed, and “cover ups” to protect senior figures, has been a feature of island life for some years before I was appointed in 2000. I have direct knowledge of some of the events which have happened since that time. In respect of most of the earlier cases I can only repeat what I have been told, or, as I am currently denied access to files and records, repeat what I am able recall from my previous reading of the subject.
125. The issue has also been part of a major political divide. Prominent and active in this debate has been Senator Stuart Syvret. He also features in some of the witness statements. He is a controversial local politician, who is noted for his anti-establishment views. He has a significant number of supporters in politics and the wider community. From some of the evidence offered by witnesses who have provided statements during the course of this enquiry, the Investigating Officer may have felt that he was being encouraged to take a view that the Senator was some form of marginalised “crank” figure, whose opinions should be taken lightly. That would not, in my view, be an accurate assessment. Senator Stuart Syvret is the island’s current longest serving politician. Although he has not faced an election in recent years, he sometimes claims, on the basis of historical results, that he is also the islands most popular politician. That might be arguable, but it could also be true. As a professional police officer I recognise that I should try to avoid expressing a view on a political figure. However, given that he is a common thread which runs through much of the background to this enquiry, I find that hard to avoid. In any event it might be appropriate be deal with this now and then move on to other things. While 1 cannot support many of the things which Senator Syvret says and does, I nevertheless see value in his contribution to the political process. He brings a spirit of challenge which is often lacking in local political debate. He is a determined, committed and interesting person, and a politician who most ordinary people, or individuals who are disadvantaged, would trust. In a community which is sharply divided into “us” and “them” he is apparently seen my many people as one of “us”.
126. In the interests of transparency I disclose that I have been on friendly terms with Senator Syvret and his partner, Deputy Carolyn Labey. She is also a hard-working and dedicated politician. Some time before “Rectangle” became a big issue Carolyn Labey invited my wife and I to a small social event held at the farmhouse where they both lived. Stuart Syvret was present. Nothing of a sensitive nature was discussed. Since I have been suspended both Stuart and Carolyn have initiated contact. I have told them that it would be best if this contact ceased for the time being. Shortly after my suspension I met with Senator Syvret in my capacity as his constituent. The meeting took place in St Helier Parish Hall and the Connétable of St Helier was present as a witness. We discussed issues relating to the suspension and my representations to have it overturned. Neither at this meeting, nor at any other time have I discussed operationally sensitive matters with Stuart Syvret. There have been no “leaks” and no secretive contacts. My dealings with him have been either entirely professional, or have constituted a legitimate exercise of my common-law right to communicate with my elected representative.