On 15th June 2015 the States of Jersey Police launched an investigation into a number of historic cases of child abuse, focusing on abuse in institutions, and abuse involving Persons of Public Prominence (PPPs). Operation Whistle saw six investigators, supported by a management team take responsibility for these complex investigations, which fall within the terms of reference for Operation Hydrant.
The dedicated team, which has now increased to eight investigators, continue to work on Operation Whistle. Allegations against 60 suspects have been or continue to be progressed by the team, with a total of 32 victims engaged to date and 12 new complaints have been received since the investigation went live in mid-June.
A significant element of these investigations involve officers engaging with the victims, many of whom have now found the confidence to report abuse, in the knowledge that they will be listened to and will be treated sensitively and with respect.
15 PPPs have been identified. Due to the historical nature of the investigations, it has been established that 10 PPPs are deceased and all but 1 are UK based. Of the remaining five, two have been interviewed to date with a third planned.
• There are still on-going enquiries surrounding 5 Institutions.
• Operation Yewtree (UK investigation into Jimmy Savile), saw 16 victims allege abuse at the hands of Savile whilst in Jersey. All information in respect of Operation Yewtree was collated and shared with the UK Operation Yewtree team.
• The Operation Whistle team are currently involved with a total of 45 victims of historical abuse against some 47 named suspects – 27 of whom are believed to be deceased. The team continue to actively investigate the remaining 20 suspects. A number of victims live in the UK and 1 resides in Australia. This has led to extensive liaison with UK colleagues, including UK travel, ensuring evidence and statements are secured, as well as safeguarding the welfare for our overseas victims.
• To date, there have been 4 arrests, 2 of which were charged and 2 were released on bail pending further enquiries or pending legal advice. Two other named suspects have been interviewed under caution & subsequently advised no further action is to be taken due to insufficient evidence – a third is planned.
• 13 unidentified suspects are still being researched and continued liaison is required with UK colleagues.
• Intelligence review and development is a continual process with the recording of approximately 80 witness statements to date. Officers have also carried out extensive research of historic data and information held at Jersey Archives.
• Lines of enquiry have involved working with all our multi-agency partners, as well as voluntary organisations, including for example JAAR. The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has also been kept apprised, as has the Independent Safeguarding Partnership Board chair.
Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull – Head of Crime Services said:
‘The Operation Whistle Team continues to work hard to ensure that victims are listened to and given the support that they need. We commend the victims who have engaged with us and we would encourage anyone else who has been the victim of historical abuse to come forward and speak with us in confidence. There have been arrests and there will be more to come.’
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