“WE MUST CONTROL THE POLICE FORCE”

JERSEY ESTABLISHMENT’S RESPONSE

TO AN INDEPENDENT POLICE FORCE

FINALLY INVESTIGATING HISTORIC CHILD ABUSE.

Sorry for not posting for a while, it’s been a very busy 10 days or so.

I will recount later this week the details of the various child protection events which have occurred in Jersey since I last posted.

And a fascinating amalgam of elements they have been.

For example, it furnishes us with another opportunity to examine the “performance” of the Jersey media. (Which I never speak to any more, in case you’re wondering why I haven’t had a presence in the local press for a few weeks. Actually, it’s really quite liberating.)

But it just to be going on with, I thought it might interest you to read a letter which I sent to the Jersey Evening Post last week. I wrote the letter in response to what I considered to be some truly quiet extraordinary comments made in The Rag by Mr Ian le Marquand.

Mr le Marquand is a recently retired Magistrate, who plans to seek election as Senator later this year in Jersey’s General election.

He is the archetypal Jersey establishment election candidate. Lawyer, wealthy, “pillar-of-society” – and possessed of a natural assumption to power. And, of course, along with all of that comes the equally traditional baggage. Insular, ignorant, arrogant and completely out of touch with the real world.

For many years, the three relevant departments – Health and Social Services, Education, and Home Affairs, had to continually resist demands from Mr Le Marquand that we make the child custody laws tougher and that, essentially, we run the child secure units as though they were prisons in miniature.

As though, as we now know, the existing practices were not tough enough.

Essentially, Mr Le Marquand wanted the power to sentence children in trouble with the law to lengthy periods of imprisonment. ‘Get the ‘problem’ off the streets’; I think the philosophy could be described as.

However, he and his judicial colleagues alighted on a ruse by which they could dodge the will of the legislators – and do exactly as they pleased.

Because the law permitted children to be held in custody ‘on remand’ – the Magistrates simply placed children on remand for very lengthy periods of time – thus, de facto – ‘sentencing’ children to a term of imprisonment. In some cases, children would eventually be released after weeks or months of this – without charge.

Such practices were almost certainly simply unlawful and a clear abuse of process.

But, in an even more stark example of the judicial apparatus being a component in an inchoate criminal offence, the Magistrates – such as Mr Le Marquand himself – would remand children to places like Greenfields and Les Chennes – where children would be subject to the kind of manifest criminality as described in my last post.

I will describe the legal issues in a later post.

Back to the letter I wrote to The Rag.

To my astonishment, they actually printed most of it. but just to get the full flavour of what I was objecting to, I’ll reproduce the entire letter below.

What was the issue?

Essentially, Mr Le Marquand was objection to the independence of the States of Jersey Police Force – and asserting how the Force should be brought back under political direction.

Yeah – I know; cliché alert!

You couldn’t make it up.

Here’s my letter, which is self-explanatory. Perhaps I should point out that if you live in Jersey you can now get medication free of prescription charges – in case you feel the need to hit the Prozac and Valium after digesting Mr. Le Marquand’s profoundly frightening observations.

Stuart.

Wednesday 23rd July 2008

Letters to the editor
Jersey Evening Post
Five Oaks
St. Saviour.

The comments of Mr. Ian Le Marquand, Advocate, former Magistrate and candidate for the office of Senator, as reported in the JEP Wednesday 23rd July, are amongst the most deeply disturbing comments I have ever heard from an election candidate in Jersey.

I know Jersey grandees – with all their natural presumption to power – live in a strange parallel universe, into which reality rarely intrudes, but Mr Le. Marquand’s comments are shockingly insular and ignorant, even by Jersey establishment standards.

He says: “The issue about oversight of the police is based on a growing concern over a lengthy period of time that the police were increasingly operating as if they were a politically independent organisation. That predates the Haute de la Garenne investigation by about two years. It is a long-standing concern that they are operating without effective political oversight.”

The Police operating as if they were a “politically independent organisation.”?

This will obviously come as a deep shock to Mr. Le Marquand – but police forces are politically independent organisations.

The Police Force does indeed – these days, at least – undertake it’s duties in a manner independent of politics, and of direct political control.

And the problem with that is?

There is a term for political systems that exercise direct political control over police forces. That term is ‘fascism’.

Every police force the length of the nation operates on a politically independent basis. The government sets the laws and sets the policies. The Police then undertake their duties within that framework – operationally independent of political control.

But in Jersey-establishment-world – “independent” police forces are clearly deemed undesirable. Truly, some things are just beyond parody.

So – presumably if Mr. Le Marquand is elected we can look ‘forward’ to a return to days gone by – when Jersey’s Police Force was told politically who they could or couldn’t investigate, who they could or couldn’t charge, which offences they could investigate, which media they could speak to – and which area of policing activity should be set aside – because it might just be too “politically” inconvenient.

It actually speaks volumes about the Jersey establishment, that in the midst of a child abuse atrocity of international scale – their candidates can so blithely, and without apparent embarrassment, speak of a return to the days of political control over the Police Force; an approach which has left this community confronting at least six decades of the most monstrous child abuse – 95% of which has remained concealed and unpunished.

That it is – finally – being exposed today is largely down to two things: the absence of “political” control over the Police Force; and the brave efforts of independently-minded Officers like Lenny Harper.

Many of the victims are no longer with us – having committed suicide over the years. During the last year or so, I have spoken to many, many victims of abuse; people of all ages. The great majority of the survivors have led shattered lives and carry with them to this day the burdens of what they suffered.

For their sakes – I most sincerely hope that Mr. Le Marquand is not elected.

Yours sincerely,

Senator Stuart Syvret.

40 thoughts on ““WE MUST CONTROL THE POLICE FORCE”

  1. ageofaquarius

    Spot on Stuart, obviously Mr Le Marquand does live in a different universe and thank you for bringing to the attention of the masses. BTW, can’t see him getting a majority from the joes & janes on the street who are now completely fed up with the old school of which he is obviously one. Is he so out of touch, did he not read back what he had said. I compare it to the Baliff’s speech at Liberation Day, totally out of touch with the present trend.

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  2. Derek

    Stuart,
    I may not be totally informed on historical events – but from what i can remeber from school, documentaries, books etc. is that state sponsored/monitored Police forces do not have the best track record for being on the side of the people of whatever country they happen to be “Policing” at that particular moment in history.

    Downright barbarism and corruption are two things most of them have previous for…

    We only need to look at the Junta in Burma at the moment for proof of this..

    Is this where Mr Le Marquand hopes to guide us?

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  3. Res nullius

    rgroewkvAs you know, the office of Attorney General is already wholly engaged and deeply entrenched in the political mechanism.

    The AG’s Department provides advice to the States, States Departments, States members, Minister’s, Parish Constables, the Dean of Jersey and the Receiver General on matters of law arising out of their public duties.

    The AG’s office also has the final say on who does and does not get charged with an offence and is also the head of the Honorary Police (as Phil was when he submitted the application to the Royal Court for Roger Holland to join the Honorary’s)

    Rather than have political control over the police, I wonder whether the police are actually independant enough from political control.

    Perhaps a good argument why the power to charge should be handed to the police rather than to the Centenier – and de facto the AG.

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  4. Anonymous

    Having read Mr Le Marquand’s comments of 23rd July I am a little confused as to your response. He made it quite clear in his remarks that he was talking about more control in respect of policy setting and strategic level decisions. He specifically said that he was not talking about control of operational matters, which seems to be what you are suggesting he said. The Police are not Political Independent, and nor should they be as high level policy should be set by our elected officials, and not by Civil Servants (a point you yourself have made on many occasions).

    In my view I would on one level agree that more political control in respect of policy setting and the like is a good thing. That is something a democratically elected government is designed to do and provides better security in the forms of checks and balances than the Chief Officer being able to do whatever he likes in that regard. I would however suggest that we also need to look at ensuring better separation between the States and Operational Policing matters. States Members should not be interfering with individual cases (which they do) or poking their nose into operational matters. That is more where the problem lies. So (in my view at least) Mr Le Marquand is correct in what he is saying, he’s just going after what is a relatively minor problem and ignoring the more important issue…

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  5. Stuart Syvret

    Re: Mr. Le Marquand’s Comments

    I’m afraid I just don’t agree with your interpretation of Mr. Le Marquand’s comments.

    So stark and obvious was the sub-text to what he was saying that, in the present context – it leapt off the page. Even people not usually interested in politics have expressed concerns to me. Including several abuse survivors.

    Nor is your attempt to re-cast his words into a less dangerous form even faintly convincing.

    This is what he actually said:

    “The issue about oversight of the police is based on a growing concern over a lengthy period of time that the police were increasingly operating as if they were a politically independent organisation. That predates the Haute de la Garenne investigation by about two years. It is a long-standing concern that they are operating without effective political oversight.”

    The phrases “policy setting” and “strategic level decisions” do not appear in these remarks.

    As a further illustration of the sub-text – the true meaning – of his words, we simply need to consider the fact that – insofar as laws and strategic policy frameworks are concerned – the States of Jersey Police Force – already – work within a politically determined framework.

    Given that fact – what possible real motive could there be for attempting to spin the public in to believing that no such political framework exists – and Mr. Le Marquand – like a knight on a white charger – is going to appear and fix the supposed “problem”?

    Obviously, one may not like or agree with the present range of laws and policy frameworks to which the Police work. The proper, democratic and civilised approach is to – within the political sphere – change those laws and strategic aims.

    I’m afraid you are also, obviously, wrong in your assertion that police forces are “not politically independent”.

    Yes – they are.

    The job of the Police is to act as a non-political law enforcement agency. Yes, I repeat, one working within a framework of laws and policies set by the legislature.

    But an agency which is – and must always be – able to operate free of political interferences.

    Ultimately, societies can only really be policed by consent. The vast majority of people have to trust and respect the police force. The very instant it begins to appear that the police have become merely a political tool of those in power – that trust and respect vanishes – and takes with it much of the public consent needed to police effectively.

    I know perfectly well that the degree of direct, political interference into policing matters engaged by States members in years gone by was truly startling. People would be deeply shocked if they knew the history of political intervention into the police since 1945.

    But even today – even with the Police Force having its present level of independence, which is obviously too much for Mr. Le Marquand and the rest of the oligarchy to stomach – the Force is still subject to political interference, obstruction and denigration.

    We still need to go further forward in ensuring the political impartiality of the Police Force.

    Not backwards – to the bad old days – as nostalgic Jersey oligarchs would have us do.

    Stuart.

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  6. Whistleblowing is good

    Here’s a possible local cover-up for you 🙂

    The new JCRA list of mast sites finally admits to the public that the digital police radio TETRA system has transmitting sites at LA CHASSE, LES PLATONS, FORT REGENT, GOREY, FIVE OAKS and LA MOYE.

    However, the LA MOYE one is shown on their map as being on the “golf ball” weather radar, rather than its actual position on the prison roof.

    I wonder if this is a genuine mistake or an attempt to conceal the ugly truth that inmates are being subjected these controversial radiations at close range whether they like it or not?

    Thanks for airing this worry, if you publish this comment.

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  7. Anonymous

    I find it odd that only a few weeks after Jersey celebrated its `liberation’ from the evils of `political tyranny’, that a man like Le Marquand should actually advocate the politiciising of our law enforcement agencies!

    Its clear that the man is not only very dangerous! But also very ignorent of history!

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  8. Anonymous

    Please explain; how can an organisation that is entirely dependent for its funding &
    have its performance ultimately judged by the success of the overseeing politician be considered “totally politically independent”?

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  9. Anonymous

    I have the impression that Stuart believes police forces are competent in child abuse investigation. They are certainly not; or evenly remotely so. Forensic evaluation, however, is usually good, though this depends on them being given scenes to evaluate.

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  10. Anonymous

    Nobody should be above the law and that includes the Jersey oligarchy!

    The Joe and Janes may not vote in Mr le Marquand,it will be the Garnets and Dulcies that will vote in Mr le Marquand, our new Home Affairs Minister!

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  11. Anonymous

    I think we would all agree that a police force following the political agenda of an imperfect government is a bad thing. A police force following the political agenda of a perfect government would be a good thing, but only for as long as the governement stayed perfect (which wouldn’t be long). Therefore the police following no political agenda is the ideal situation. A police force following its “own” political agenda, is also a bad thing. Isn’t this what Le Marquand was referring to, although without his letter in front of me I think he foolishly used “independent” instead of “own”?

    JI

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  12. Cassandra

    Stuart, don’t you think you should acknowledge the fact that Senator Kinnard has fully supported an independent inquiry regarding this matter? Your comment about the independence of the police ignores that salient fact. Rather wilfully, if I may suggest.

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  13. Anonymous

    Dear Stuart (cc’d to the JEP)

    I am deeply saddened and sickened to have woken this morning to hear confirmation from our police force that the remains of at least 5 children’s bodies have been found during the course of the recent HDLG investigation.

    I feel ashamed that this level of child abuse (any level is intolerable) has occurred on my home island and it is time that the sleeping people of Jersey wake up to the truth and that the islands politicians start taking responsibility for their shockingly poor leadership and failings to the taxpayers of Jersey, not only during the past years investigation but for years of mismanagement, concealment and downright neglect bestowed upon the honest, hard working local people of Jersey.

    We cannot and should not accept that these appalling, barbaric and atrocious crimes have occurred on our beautiful island until the perpetrators (monsters) have been brought to justice together with “anyone” who had knowledge of them occurring who just buried their heads in the sand (cowards). You know who you are and how you can sleep at night is beyond any reasonable thinking mans thoughts. You will be found out, you will be named and shamed and even if you are not brought to justice by our judiciary (or an independent one for that matter), the victims, their familes and the many local people effected by the recent chain of events will have some comfort knowing who they are.

    I urge the people of Jersey to vote with their hands and their feet in the forthcoming elections in the hope that we can mark the beginning of the end of this awful chapter in our history. Life in Jersey will never be the same but at least we can look to the future and ensure that these events never happen again.

    Yours faithfully

    Stephen Fitz-Williams

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  14. Stuart Syvret

    Re: The Police Force & Mr. Le Marquand’s Comments.

    If find this comment really quite fascinating because of the unspoken, yet plain, sub-text.

    It is that, by undertaking the comprehensive investigation into child abuse, the police have been following some kind of “political” agenda.

    It is only Jersey establishment people who could possibly look at events in that way.

    Which, of itself, simply proves that it is the establishment which has the “political” agenda insofar as policing is concerned.

    Stuart.

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  15. Stuart Syvret

    Re: Senator Kinnard

    I’m not really sure I understand the point which is being made.

    Is it that, by “supporting an independent enquiry”, Senator Kinnard is bringing politics into the policing sphere?

    Or is it that Senator Kinnard should be praised for supporting the concept of such an enquiry?

    Not that the answer to these questions is especially relevant.

    The plain facts are that, although she later declared herself ‘conflicted’ and took no part in proceedings, initially she gave her backing to Frank Walker, as did all the other Ministers, when he was preparing to call me and demand my resignation.

    She didn’t even have the courtesy to tell me what was going on.

    As to the “independent enquiry”, as described in a previous blog post, the plans by Frank Walker & the rest of the Council of Ministers to debate and launch a formal Committee of Enquiry, had one – very obvious and clear – overarching objective.

    Namely, that any person summoned before the quasi-judicial body of a Committee of Enquiry then gains criminal immunity for any offences they may have committed which relate to the subject of the enquiry.

    In one easy step – very significant numbers of criminal charges could have been swept away – and under the carpet – by using a process which would confirm immunity from prosecution upon any person summoned before it.

    This manifest attempt to sabotage what may be a range of charges – for example, perverting, or attempting to pervert the course of justice – was just another example of the culture of concealment at work.

    Fortunately, I was able to de-rail those plans by pointing out the above facts.

    But as to Senator Kinnard, whilst she has, no doubt, been supportive of the police – once it became clear which way the tide was flowing – she deserves no praise whatsoever.

    Had she been a decent and principled person, she would have been standing shoulder to shoulder with me – earlier last year – when I was battling to expose abuses at a time when none of us had any knowledge of the covert police investigation.

    It’s quite tragic really.

    The utterly disgraceful and moronic behaviour we have seen from Frank Walker and his coterie was perhaps, sadly to be expected.

    But for someone who likes to think of herself as some kind of right-on Lefty – with a big social conscience – her position is, in many ways, the very worst of the current Ministers.

    Stuart.

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  16. Cassandra

    The point is that Kinnard and her deputy have consistently supported the independent police inquiry as a purely operational matter for the police service, not to be interfered with at a political level.

    Are you not perhaps in danger of conflating your own political disagreements with the wider importance of the maintenance of a proper delineation between operational and policy matters, and that this delineation has in fact been maintained in this crucial area?

    We are aware that the police consider the political administration of the Department to be supportive of their operational requirements regarding this issue. That’s what you expect of a normal, functioning, Justice/Interior/Home Affairs administration anywhere in the world, and that’s what’s happening.

    Your readership will wish to be informed of this fact as a matter of record, despite the fact that it doesn’t quite fit the “one lone honest man against the entire edifice” perspective that you’re painting.

    It should be said that I have no brief to defend the Council of Ministers, and indeed the overall reaction hasn’t been what one would have hoped for by any means.

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  17. andrew

    Absolutely brilliant, Stuart. This confirm my suspicion that sadly behind the facade of “respectability” lies not only the usual smugness, self-righteousness and arrogance we are now accustomed to but something far more dangerous. Mr Le Marquand’s comments are not only highly insensitive and inappropriate given the ongoing inquiry into child abuse on an unimaginable scale – they show him to be an out of touch right winger (at best). It is staggering that an “establishment” which takes great pride in the “Liberation” of 1945 tolerates fascist views that would have made Hitler proud.

    Is there any realistic chance of progressive candidates being elected to the States this year, or will “respectability” win out (again)?

    On the point made about developments in the child abuse enquiry, it is clear now that the scale of the abuse is beyond what any of us could have imagined; there can be no denying that serious questions have to be asked as to how these atrocities (and I don’t use the word lightly) were allowed to happen. I myself was the victim of child abuse in the Scottish islands and if I learned anything from the “investigation” it was that small, parochial police forces have neither the expertise, experience nor the will to actually get to the bottom of the problem. Of course, there as here, the general feeling was that scandal and abuse should be swept under the carpet rather than confronted which allowed further abuses to go on. I don’t know what should have happened, but I don’t feel the Jersey police were up to this, I don’t think they have the expertise or the professional will to accept uncomfortable outcomes.

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  18. Anonymous

    I wonder if this might explain the Jersey Way? From my own experience plus the networked experiences of others I think this might explain it rather well.

    If, say, people apply for welfare or some benefit or other by claiming incapacity, or complain about harassment at work or use the “child abuse” defence to explain why they steal cars etc. then a certain percentage of those people will be lying, or at least greatly exaggerating, to manipulate the system for extra benefit. Those “in charge” of doling out money or justice or whatever, know this.

    Here comes the “Jersey Way”!

    After a while the establishment representative gets fed up with this and this is when the corruption happens. Their ability to “judge” the merits of any case gets distorted and they end up suspecting a much greater percentage of complainants of “trying it on” than is the reality. Their suspicion of the “bona fides” of applicants skyrockets.

    The end stage of the Jersey Way is where they *feel* that just about everyone is “trying it on” and no-one is genuine – their heads might still feel objective but their hearts will prejudice them against the person being judged. If that person is an establishment type, they get a far more sympathetic hearing than if they come from the “wrong side of the tracks”

    I think this why things get covered up – because of embarrassment of the judges of being “found out” at having made a bad decision. A small percentage of the judges/administrators may actually realise what they are doing, while they are doing it, to make budget savings, save public money, cut time in Court etc but mostly I think it is just unrealised prejudice that is stronger than most places elsewhere

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  19. st-ouennais

    What an amazing calm, specific, measured and reasoned interview depute chief officer Harper gave on radio 4 this morning, the more so given the opposition an denigration he has endured.

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  20. Stuart Syvret

    Cassandra

    That Senator Kinnard and her Assistant Minister have allowed the police to progresses matters at an operational level may well be so.

    But what do Kinnard and Andrew Lewis want? A medal or something?

    But in any event, even if there has been a clear delineation insofar as the Home Affairs politicians are concerned – there has not been a full and clear delineation between the political arena and the operational activities of the police.

    We have seen constant denigration and attacks mounted on the police by certain senior politicians; at an early stage certain Ministers were even discussing whether they could get rid of Lenny Harper.

    There was a clear, political attempt to sabotage prosecutions via the premature proposal to establish a Committee of Enquiry – a move supported by Kinnard.

    And the implacable fact remains that she supported Frank Walker last summer when he set about demanding my sacking.

    Of course, she very much changed her stance on this matter as soon as the covert police investigation became public.

    But the fact remains, back when it was thought to be merely a ‘political’ controversy – one which could be buried via my removal from office – she was right there with Walker & Co.

    Do I think she’s evil?

    No – but sadly she has proven herself to be ignorant and lazy.

    Back in those days – from early last year, until the Police investigation went public – I was, indeed, in the political sphere, the one honest man standing alone against the entire edifice.

    The well-documented facts and chronology of events prove that to be so.

    Stuart

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  21. Anonymous

    My God, what have we come to in 2008?

    When, if one were to potentially fall foul of the law, one would likely find oneself sitting awaiting the infallible judgement of Advocates P Mourant (of (now trunctated) MdF&J fame) or R Falle (Les Pas Holdings fame).

    Heaven help us. Time to go.

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  22. Anonymous

    The minister for home affairs, senator Wendy Kinnard, said that the police briefings were entirely appropriate given the severity of the allegations being made, and that the skull “was found in suspicious circumstances”.

    She said she had commissioned an independent review from the Association of Chief Police Officers to look into how Harper’s team had handled the inquiry so far. The first, confidential report from Acpo, which covered the period between February 29 and March 2, showed the police were doing their job well, she said

    Kinnard has no right to look into how the police team has handled this affair and she should keep her nose out of the investigation. In any case where was she when others were mentioning their concerns prior to the investigation?

    Bendy Wendy must go along with the rest of the malignant creatures she seeks to protect.

    No medal for those who stay silent when children are being raped butchered and murdered.

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  23. Frank

    I am angered by the press reports after todays interview with Lenny Harper-basically they are ‘ Nobody to be charged after police report ‘ . They should be ‘ Children probably murdered whilst under the care and protection of the Jersey state ‘ or ‘ Children probably murdered by employees of the Jersey state ‘.
    This looks like the worse case since Brady and Hindley and could be even more terrible than that , but it has been met with indifference and hostility . It has been said that a society should be judged by its treatment of its children.The UK has had years of abuse towards children – in schools , churches , government institutions and nothing ever changes .We are a sick society .

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  24. Anonymous

    Sonia Amy? The same Sonia who went to St Saviour’s primary School?

    I’m so sorry! So many of my childhood friends are now dead!

    I had no idea that she was experiencing the same as me!!

    PLG

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  25. jim browne

    Hi Stuart.

    I see you are still fighting strong mate, and thank for from all the guys on the mainland for bringing this abuse into the public domain which will help all of us.

    It will take a very long time for the victims in Jersey to get justice for what happened to them all those years ago. I’m sorry to say that it does take some years to fight a Civil Action. Mine started in 1995 and I was informed that I would be back in court in January 2009, not a bad wait hey, think of all that money that the legal teams have made on the backs of us victims, but I must be fair, if it wasn’t for them we would not be in court now.

    All these years in and out of court is not to prove guilt on the people or the homes that owed us ‘A care of Duty’ they know what they did to us. Its all about MONEY.

    Why can’t they just say ‘Sorry we fucked up, we should have taken care of you’ thats all we ask as victims, but no, money to them is a no no, but its ok for them to spend thousands upon thousands of pounds defending their GUILT. They sit and wait for claiments to die of old age or just give in fighting and take the pittence they offer as ‘Hush’ money.

    I just hope I live long enough to wipe the smiles from their faces.

    Jim Browne (Survivor)

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  26. Anonymous

    I keep in contact with someone who was at HDLG in the 70s, and he assures me that all records of him while there have been destroyed or never recorded.
    Surely tracking and accountability can start with the Politicians/Staff/ Employees who should have made sure of records being kept

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  27. Anonymous

    Why don’t we organise some kind of support for the victims of child abuse. I run a small business and in contact with the general public on a day-to-day basis. I am under know allusions that the jersey public would rather deny what has happened than rally support, how sad .As a business point of view I would like to start a fund Can someone out their give me some info on how to go about this

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  28. Anonymous

    Jersey child abuse: case not closed

    Jersey’s Government should take a more robust stance over the child abuse investigations, and should prevent closure of a murder investigation.

    There was a note of resignation in the statement yesterday by Lenny Harper, the deputy chief officer of States of Jersey Police, that there may never be enough evidence to mount a murder inquiry into the partial remains of five children found at Haut de la Garenne.

    As a policeman who has been central to the painstaking efforts to sift and analyse bone fragments and teeth found in the cellars of the former children’s home, Mr Harper is clearly eager to bring to justice anyone responsible for whatever crimes took place. As an employee of a government whose commitment to this investigation has been at best lukewarm, however, he knows that the case appears, for the moment, to have reached a dead end. His job, and that of the Jersey government, is to ensure that this case remains open and that the inquiry goes on.

    To the public, things appear straightforward. Dozens of Jersey residents have testified that, as children sent to Haut de la Garenne, they suffered physical and sexual abuse and knew about punishment rooms in the cellars. A police investigation, the biggest mounted in the Channel Islands, has uncovered underground rooms and found disturbing evidence: a shallow concrete bath with blood on it and the words “I’ve been bad for years and years” scrawled on a wooden beam, the letter K written in black on a wall with whitewash covering the rest of the word, a total of 65 milk teeth and more than 100 human bone fragments, one coming from a child’s leg and another from a child’s ear.

    In addition, a member of the public said that he had been told by staff to dig two holes near the boys’ dormitory, and police have found in one of them a large amount of lime at the bottom. That is certainly enough to prompt the reasonable suspicion that horrific crimes, including murder, have been committed at the home.

    Bringing specific charges may prove to be much more difficult, however. First, the timeframe being investigated ranges from the late 1940s to the 1980s, and the remains, which were burnt, cannot be carbon-dated. Secondly, there are no reliable reports of missing children during this time, as those sent to the home were often illegitimate, unwanted or were listed as simply having left for the mainland. And thirdly, although some 97 allegations have been made of abuse dating back to the 1960s, and more than 100 people listed as suspects, several potentially key witnesses are dead and there are no clear links between the abuse and murder.

    The frustrations of the case have also been reflected in public attitudes. Many people in Jersey, especially at the start of the investigation, have been angered by what they see as attempts in Britain to disparage their system of justice, force the pace of the investigations and impose independent judicial control. A former health minister, a trenchant critic of the Jersey government’s attitude, was sacked and Mr Harper himself is known to have been close to resignation over official reaction to the abuse inquiries.

    The Jersey government should take a more robust stance over what has happened. For Britain, this is a delicate matter. The island, a Crown dependency, is not part of the United Kingdom and not subject to Home Office regulation. Ministry of Justice officials have held talks with those involved in the case and although there are ways of intervening – either directly or through the Privy Council – the British Government is extremely loath to do so or pre-empt the findings of an investigation still under way. But it should not be necessary. However baffling the case, it remains a homicide investigation. There is no reason to curtail or curb it. What happened in the dark cellars of Haut de la Garenne must be revealed, whatever the financial or political cost.

    Reply
  29. Anonymous

    Stuart I honestly don’t believe that the majority of the Jersey public would be stupid enough to vote Le Marquand in. I am not overly worried about him right now, the Jersey people are gradually being made aware of the truth, although some will still deny it, or turn the other cheek, many many are shocked, and dumbfounded to realise what their so-called government is really like. They will not vote him in, however, Jersey needs some good, new alternatives, and they need to start showing themselves soon, and speaking out. Its not that far off to elections 🙂

    On another note, it was nice to see you today, I’m in Europe, and was watching the wonderful Mark Stone giving his latest report on H de la G for Sky news, so good to see he interviewed you too. I also want to say, the last time I saw you on tv you didn’t look in good health, understandably with all you’re going thru, however today I was very happy to see you’re looking very healthy again. Nice to be able to watch from afar 2 of my favourite young men on tv 🙂 🙂 Just a shame about the headlines that brought the two of you together today 🙂

    Glad to see you’re taking care of yourself
    @–>–

    Elaine

    Reply
  30. Jimi Takes A Stroll

    Given the way certain sections of our Government are currently eager to cosy up to China, is it any surprise that a member of the establishment seeking a Senatorial position is essentially calling for a State controlled Police Force?

    Reply
  31. The Moving Finger

    Maybe Ian Le Marquand could go on a fact finding mission to China as well.
    He could learn all about crowd control and jow to quell demonstrations in squares.(wink)
    Maybe there is a new resident who can supply a tank?

    Reply
  32. Anonymous

    So the barriers to justice remain intact for sections of population – these are the ex-inmates of the children services

    There are remains of children at the HDLG site and this is yet to be explained. The witness accounts seem to be ignored by the local press.

    The performance of Crown officers leave more questions than answers. The AG and the Bailiff and the Jurat system are tangled up in these issues.

    How do we know our children’s services are clean of abuse.
    Just because we don’t look for it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    The Assistant Minister responsible for child protection argues previous inhabitants are criminals bent on mischief. He would be advised to read Charles Dickens selected journalism 1850 – 1870. In this book he will find some interesting and familiar practices. eg:
    1. The system of separate confinement- by which all prisoners were prevented from meeting or mixing with each other
    2. The case of Bartholomew Drouet who ran the Tooting Juvenile Pauper Asylum. Over 100 children died as a result of the malpractice in this institution

    So here we are in the 21st century applying 19th centuary practices on children, in large institutions which are not monitored, with staff are left to their own devices and without any judicial independence to review the abuse.

    What a sick, greedy society we live in

    Reply
  33. Anonymous

    Stuart

    Mr. Ian Le Marquand – he is stating his beliefs and standing for election on an island wide mandate based on these. What’s wrong with that afterall the electorate will decide whether it likes/dislikes his views.

    I am more concerned about the Bailiff and the AG – the electorate can do nothing about their behaviour and meddling with politics and interference with police investigations.

    This is where the real problems lie – corrupt crown officers

    Reply
  34. jim browne

    Ok I give in, who is pulling my leg.

    Many thousands of yeasrs ago Dinosaur’s walked on this Earth, how do we know this we ask ??, easy, we found bones in the ground.

    Now we pay people thousands and thousands of pounds to tell us about these animals, how old they are, how big they are, what they eat, what their last meal was, even the last time they had a shite. Now get ready for it, these people are called ‘Scientists’ yes ‘Scientists’ real clever folk with glasses and white coats who only come out in the dark.

    Now we give them some bones and a load of childrens teeth, and they try and tell us that they haven’t got a clue how old they are, are these people for real or what ????.

    ‘What do you think these are Nigel’
    ‘I fink der teef Clive, lickle ones’
    ‘How old do you think they are Nigel? ‘
    ‘Errrr pass Clive, what time is dinner’

    Now who is more stupid, them or us for believing them ???????.

    Jim Browne (Not Stupid)

    Reply
  35. Anonymous

    As the great Senator Norman Le Brocq said (or may have said)

    “We havent gone away you know”

    Reply
  36. Anonymous

    A question: Usually, in cases of severe abuse, the big-C Christians are sniffing around as therapists. Have they arrived yet?

    Reply

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