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Media briefing notes from Haut de la Garenne

NOTES FROM PRESS BRIEFING AT 15.15 HOURS OUTSIDE HAUT DE LA GARENNE GIVEN BY DCO LENNY HARPER

Date: Thursday 28 February 2008

 We are still in the first room (cellar) and will be in there for the rest of the week. Our team are slowly and carefully working their way through. It is a specialist task.

 The cellar is an underground room with unrendered walls. It is very dusty. We continue to direct resources at the cellar. It is a cellar rather than a chamber.

 We have found another object of significance in the cellar but will not say what it is. It is not a household object.

 We have started to assess other areas of interest.

 Meanwhile, our inquiries into people who committed these offences continue as the exploration of Haut de la Garenne g"s on.

 We have had unspecific information which relates to a further (third) room here. We have not found anything there yet.

 We have had speculation about what has been found in the cellar and we do not want to confirm what the object is. From our point of view the finds are significant as they help collaborate what some victims have said.

 We can confirm that we are also working in the field below the house. We have the resources to manage both the work in the cellar and the work in the field.

 While on the field, the dog gave us an indication that there is something of interest there. We will continue to use the dogs.

 On the whole, we are delighted with the media coverage we have had so far. It has been very helpful in drawing out valuable information out for us.

 However, there have been a few totally erroneous suggestions. We would stress that if there is something found, we will tell you about it and we would ask you to check your information with the press officers.

 The vast amount of coverage has been ˜absolutely superb.'

 Work will go on on Saturday but we will reduce work on Sunday.

 As well as people who say they were treated very badly at Haut de la Garenne, we are getting witnesses coming forward who say they were treated very well.

 We are NOT looking at all workers at Haut de la Garenne as suspects. We will be speaking to all the people who have come forward.

 We do have anecdotal statements to say that some people said there were bones here

 We do not have a definite missing list

 Every lead we get we are following

 We can confirm that one person has been arrested and charged so far. There is no connection between that man and what is happening here

 We want to make sure we have all the evidence before we go ahead with prosecutions

 Our message to suspects would be that the length of time ago these crimes were committed d"s not mean they are looked upon any less seriously.

 The time frame for abuse in the house stems from 1950s to 1986 when the house closed. On the whole, the abuse allegations we are looking into stem from 1950s to 2003.

 The abuse covers more institutions and areas

 We have had excellent co-operation from States departments

 We have had some victims from Guernsey who have contacted us (no number) but Guernsey is a separate jurisdiction.

 We would not say there has been an institutional ˜cover up' but we do know that in various organisations, things were not done as they should have been done (ie, as they are now)

 We would not put the dog onto any of the items found.

 The archaeologist and anthropologist will go through what we find bit by bit

 Our next step is to finish looking at these two areas (the cellar and the field)

 We could be in the cellar (first cellar) until next week

 

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