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Media briefing notes from Haut de la Garenne

NOTES FROM MEDIA BRIEFING HELD AT 14.05HRS AT HAUT DE LA GARENNE ON MONDAY 3 MARCH

TAKEN BY DEPUTY CHIEF OFFICER LENNY HARPER - INPUT FROM DCI DAVE MINTY.

PLEASE NOTE “ SPECIALIST MILITARY PERSONNEL WILL BE COMING TO THE LOCATION TODAY AND OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS WILL BE USING HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED GROUND RADAR EQUIPMENT. THESE PERSONNELAND THEIR EQUIPMENT ARE NOT TO BE FILMED / PHOTOGRAPHED AS THEY AND THEIR EQUIPMENT ARE HIGHLY SENSITIVE.

 JERSEY POLICE HAVE ASSURED THESE PERSONNEL THAT ALL EFFORTS WILL BE MADE TO COMPLY WITH THEIR REQUEST AND WE'D POINT OUT THAT THE POLICE HAVE FACILITATED A NUMBER OF PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES SO FAR. YOUR CO-OPERATION IN THIS MATTER IS APPRECIATED.

(Some of the media will recall similar steps were taken in Boscastle after the floods deposited cars / mud / silt into the harbour “ thank you)

- the day to day business of the enquiry continues

- the quiet, methodical excavation of the cellar area is ongoing

- the forensic examination of this area should take place soon and it is hoped entry will be gained to the second room a the end of the week

- At the first northwest corner site “ where the skull fragment was found “ other items have been removed for further inspection. These are too small to give any indication yet as to their relevance.

- Bones recovered from the south side field have been confirmed as animal bones but a small number are yet to be confirmed as such.

- Twelve detectives to assist with the enquiry arrived on Jersey today and more staff will be used in the incident room - a huge number of calls have been received from witnesses and victims.

- The specialist dog was used this morning as excavation of the first site continues. The dog did make a positive indication.

- Some victims have approached the media directly “ we would prefer them not to “ they may inadvertently say something that could damage any future prosecution. Better they speak to the police first.

- Some of those calling in are still alleging abuse, others are reporting in as potential witnesses.

- The writing seen on pictures from the cellar is still to be fully examined “ won't expand further on this at the moment.

- The concrete trough/bath was one of the significant first items located as it appears to link with accounts from witnesses.

- The Sea Cadets enquiry is not connected with Helga. The Sea cadet enquiry was a small part of the overall investigation and is coming to its natural end soon. Other organisations are being considered.

- Officers could be at the HglG site for another four weeks.

- Results are still awaited on the skull located from the first site.

- There are 25 investigators (including the recent arrivals)
Seven other personnel working in the incident room
Three forensic specialists
One specialist dog handler


- other staff will be brought in as / if required

- Enquiries will continue before arrests are made. There are no suggestions to suggest any suspects will leave the island, port teams watch entry/exit points as a matter of course.

- There are no missing person enquiries involving children on SoJ records. Information has been received regarding people who were not seen again, some of these have already been traced and enquiries continue to locate the others “ often only a first or nickname is given.

- There are no plans to release the names of deceased persons named as suspects.

- A featured case involving a suicide is being investigated and relatives of the deceased spoken to. They feel there are issues to be examined “ not as a murder enquiry.

- Two officers returned from Australia with valuable information. The enquiry officers have also spoken to people in Thailand, Germany, mainland UK and Northern Ireland (the latter not regarding any suspect)

- Infill to some of the building did come from elsewhere “ there is no suggestion of booby traps in the premises.

- No ringleader is coming to notice

- Some staff at HdlG did treat the children as they should have been.

- Part of the investigation involves day trips on boats from HdlG

- Some callers to the incident room are emotional and relieved the matter is under investigation.

- The SoJ Police is more than capable of dealing with this enquiry. It has been led, organised and carried out by SoJ officers. The investigation has been audited by a team of ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) senior officers who passed the team with a clean bill of health “ only minor recommendations were made. It is worth remembering that when London was struck by terrorist bombs SoJ officers went to London to give mutual aid. These are existing and agreed protocols.

- Callers to local radio are suggesting the presence of the media may be stirring things up out of proportion but the consensus is that the media reporting has been of benefit to the investigation “ encouraging witnesses in coming forward and explaining to the people of Jersey why the enquiries have to be patient and methodical.

PC Baxter Provan
Media Services Officer

 

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