UPDATE FOR MEDIA REGARDING HAUT DE LA GARENNE
RELEASED AT 9.30 AM ON MONDAY 10 MARCH 2008
This morning at Haut de la Garenne, the inquiry team intend to start the process of entering the second cellar room. This will entail entering from above. It is thought this room could be up to three times the size of the first room and examining it properly in the search for evidence will take some time. It is intended to put the screening dog in the room early on.
Away from the home, at Police Headquarters in St Helier, the enlarged inquiry team are progressing well in their task of collecting and analysing evidence from victims and witnesses. It is hoped that at least two arrests will follow in the next few weeks. The team is further strengthened by the arrival today of incident room staff from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, as recommended by the ACPO Homicide Review Team.
We would also like to clarify some reports which appeared in the media over the weekend. As reported extensively by the local press over the last four years, a small number of police officers have left the force in various circumstances after being accused of activities which could be described as corrupt.
They, and associates of theirs, including a local business man and a small number of politicians, have conducted a high profile campaign aimed at discrediting officers involved in their cases. This has included sending a large number of letters including, as reported in the Jersey Evening Post last year, a threat to damage the home and vehicle of one of the officers concerned.
It is emphasised that NO current ministers were involved as mentioned above. The SOJ Police would reiterate again that during this enquiry they have received full support, including the provision of whatever resources are necessary, from the Home Affairs Minister and the Chief Minister. It is a fact however, that following the public announcement of this enquiry a politician connected with the Child Abuse debate was approached by at least one of these former officers and warned not to trust or co-operate with the officers leading the enquiry.
This was followed by a letter and/or e mail sent to a number of news desks in London which attempted to smear the leaders of the inquiry. The States of Jersey Police have been given a copy of this document and know the author, a sister of one of the associates of those former officers.
We would emphasise that there is at present no evidence to suggest that these officers were involved in any so called "cover up" of former offences of the type being investigated. The focus of the inquiry team remains the detection of people who have committed offences against children and we will not be deflected from this. Should there be evidence of criminal offences in connection with a failure to deal with previous matters, then those will be investigated following the priority task of bringing suspects for abuse to justice.
Whilst the enquiry team continue the urgent business of collating evidence in the abuse cases there will be no interviews given on the matters involving the attempts to smear those involved in the investigation.
States of Jersey Police
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