Following last week’s National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) media release concerning Operation Hydrant, the States of Jersey Police can provide details of a locally generated investigation, under the auspice of Operation Hydrant, named Operation Whistle.
Since late 2011 and the death of Jimmy Savile, the States of Jersey Police have experienced an increase in the reporting of historic cases of abuse. More recently, exposure in respect of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and commencement last year of the Jersey Care Inquiry, have also contributed towards an increase in reported historical abuse.
This is against a backdrop of a 3 year increase in reported child sexual abuse (CSA) between 2011 and 2014. Reported offences of CSA have almost doubled during this period and this trend continues in 2015. As victims continue to demonstrate increased trust & confidence in reporting offending, these reports have every potential to continue to increase – as with other areas of similar criminality including domestic abuse, this remains an under reported crime.
Enquiries into these reports of historical abuse have been on-going since late 2014 and have now reached a point where a dedicated team has been established. Six investigators, supported by a management team will lead the responsibility of these complex investigations, which fall within the terms of reference for Operation Hydrant.
Some of the allegations relate to abuse within institutions or by people of public prominence, a number of suspects are deceased and some are currently unidentified. The States of Jersey Police are investigating a number of crimes alleged to have occurred here in Jersey, involving:
A significant element of these investigations is engaging with the victims, many of whom have now found confidence to report abuse, in the knowledge that they will be treated sensitively and with respect. We would encourage all victims of sexual abuse to come forward and report their abuse.
Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull – Head of Crime Services said;
It is paramount that we safeguard and protect vulnerable children now, and we face a challenge to balance expertise and resources in providing justice for victims of historic cases. The investigation has shown a shift in attitudes and victims who have, in the past, felt unable to speak up, now have the confidence to do so in the knowledge that their claims will be dealt with sensitivity and sincerity.
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