Thursday, 21 October 2010

Q and A “UN-REDACTED.”


For those of you who do still by a copy of the JEP you might have read the article(s) submitted by Diane (Shackles) Simon over recent days concerning the “Napier Report”.

Although it must be said that the recent articles did actually (uncharacteristically for the JEP) resemble fair, objective, accurate and impartial journalism, for that they must be commended.

However on page 4 of Tuesday the 19th Oct 2010 (two days ago) Ms Shackles Simon told us what former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM had to say about the Napier Report. This was as a result of 5 questions she had put to him. Some might think the questions were somewhat lame, non investigatory, perhaps even just a token gesture so the JEP could appear “balanced.” Or maybe I am just too skeptical.

Regular readers/viewers of Team Voice sites will be aware that Graham Power QPM has released a series of “briefing notes” to all accredited media which have been his responses and suggestions concerning the - paper thin - Wiltshire Report and the Napier Report. Quite why Mr. Power bothers giving these briefing notes to the “accredited” media is still somewhat of a mystery as they (the “accredited” media) appear to pay little or no attention to them. By comparison “un-accredited” (Team Voice) media have published every single word of every single briefing note.

In briefing note number 1 the former police chief said/suggested this “It is also sometimes necessary to read together paragraphs which appear in separate parts of the report. Paragraph 45 appears to say that the Law Officers advised that if a report from the Metropolitan Police was to be relied on for the suspension then there must be “no caveats or provisos” in the report. Paragraph 69 makes it clear that the report when received was in fact heavily qualified. Subsequent paragraphs show that the relevant parties pressed ahead regardless. The implication of these paragraphs, taken together, is that actions were taken contrary to legal advice”. Something, or yet another thing the “accredited” media appeared to take little notice of. So much so that in the first answer to Diane Shackles Simon’s first question, of five (re-produced below) the former CPO had to repeat it.

For clarity we re-produce paragraphs 45 and 69 of the Napier Report (which can be downloaded from HERE) as suggested by Mr. Power QPM…………even if the “accredited” media won’t.

We fully understand that the “accredited” media have to “paraphrase”, edit or redact publications and reports due to space or time restrictions. We are not in this instance saying that the JEP are not “entirely accurate” in their reporting, we are demonstrating that the “un-accredited” media are able and WILLING to give our readers/viewers an in-depth look into what is being reported so they are that much better informed when forming an opinion on the subject matter.

Napier Report – paragraphs 45 and 69.




45. Further advice from the Solicitor General to Mr Crich on 11 November emphasised the need for there to be objective evidence to support any act of suspension in advance of receipt of the full report from the Metropolitan Police. A file note made in the Solicitor General’s office records Mr Crich as saying, in the course of a telephone call that day, that Mr Ogley had said there would be a précis of the headlines of the [Metropolitan Police] report available on Tuesday and that Mr Warcup had also prepared his own review which would inform the decision making process. The note taker records a conversation in the following terms: “I said [to IC] that there must not be any provisos or caveats to the Metropolitan Police’s conclusions otherwise it would be potentially inappropriate to act [ask]” and that “I had advised that there must be strong and cogent reasons to justify action at this stage against the Chief Police Officer.”




69. It is a matter of record that the contents of the Interim Report from the Metropolitan Police were pivotal to the taking of the decision to suspend by Mr Lewis. The letter informing Mr Power that he was being suspended with immediate effect, handed to him in the meeting he had with Mr Lewis and Mr Ogley on 12 November 2008, makes reference to the Interim Report and contains excerpts from its contents. Mr Ogley, in interview, said that it would have been much harder for him to recommend (as he did) suspension in the
absence of the Interim Report. Yet that report was in heavily qualified terms. The report, in para. 1.1, draws the attention of the reader to the interim nature of the report, to the fact that it is concerned “to highlight initial findings and areas of concern” and that key individuals have yet to be interviewed. It expressly states that “any observations in this report may be subject to amendment.” It also makes it clear that “the cut-off date” for the review was 8 September 2008, thus excluding any conduct on the part of Mr Power after that date, and specifically anything concerned with the making of preparations for the press conference that took place on 12 November.

“Un-Redacted” JEP questions and answers to, and from, former CPO Graham Power QPM.

1. Do you think the report is fair and covers the main issues?

I think that the report is generally fair within the terms of its remit. It does however have to be read carefully for the full impact to be appreciated. Some very significant information is contained in the body of the text and it is sometimes necessary to read different parts of the report together to appreciate fully what is being said. For example, only by reading together paragraph 45 in conjunction with paragraphs 69 onwards is it possible to appreciate the extent to which the suspension was carried out contrary to the specific advice of the Law Officers.

1. How do you think the States should respond to Mr Napier’s findings?

I am reluctant to advise elected representatives as to how they should behave. However, the evidence from Napier is clear. A number of named individuals appear to have acted with deliberate unfairness, in breach of the relevant Disciplinary Code and contrary to legal advice. In consequence of these actions, well over £1m of public money has been effectively wasted.

It also appears that the States and the Public may have been misled as to the sequence of events leading to the suspension. These are serious matters. I imagine that States Members will initially want to know how Ministers intend to act in light of the report’s findings. It is for members to hold Ministers to account. If the issues raised in the report are not addressed effectively people will draw their own conclusions regarding the integrity of the Islands Government.

2. Do you expect some sort of apology and/or some other outcome?

The report is clear enough. The rules were breached and I was not treated fairly. In spite of a disciplinary investigation costing well over one million pounds and lasting nearly two years, no disciplinary charges were ever brought and no hearing was called. I have not been found guilty of any misconduct or mismanagement whatsoever in relation to the Historic Abuse Enquiry. I have been totally exonerated. Others now stand condemned. In these circumstances a full formal and public apology by Jersey’s Government would be entirely appropriate. Ministers should also issue a formal apology to taxpayers who have seen well over a million pounds of their money wasted on an unnecessary suspension and a failed disciplinary enquiry.

3. Would you have accepted taking an immediate leave of absence while a preliminary inquiry into the claims made against you was carried out?

And

4. If the Minister Andrew Lewis had spoken to you about his concerns sooner would you have given them very careful consideration and cooperated fully with the press conference to dispel some of the earlier claims made about the Haute de la Garenne excavation?

I think that these two questions overlap and I prefer to deal with them together. I cooperated fully with the media at every stage of the enquiry and intended to continue with that cooperation. I am not sure what is meant by “earlier claims” regarding the investigation. We all know that there were some lurid and exaggerated media claims which the Force did much to dispel, and certainly there was more work to be done in that regard.

I assume that nobody now believes the false claim that the Police said that there were “mass murders” or numbers of “buried bodies” at the site. If anyone seriously maintains that anything of that sort was ever said on behalf of the Force then it is down to them to either produce the relevant recording or transcript, or to withdraw the claim. It is however true that once the international media had withdrawn from the Island we were progressively putting forward a balanced and updated view of the situation. This was quite appropriate as more detailed forensic results became available which inevitably added to, or changed, the earlier forensic findings. Where differences between myself and others emerged were around the appropriateness of managing this evolving picture through the local media. I believed that local media organisations could professionally present the changing message and that it was not necessary and even ill-advised, to invite International News Organisations back to the Island, and present the changing forensic picture as sensational revelations. Others thought differently. The rest is history.

In relation to other areas of the questions, my position has been consistent from the very beginning. At the relevant time I was well past my retirement age and had been asked to stay on to support a handover to new management. Napier describes how the Disciplinary Code requires that the Minister for Home Affairs should raise any concerns at an early stage and how he breached that part of the Code. The report also makes it clear that under the Code there should be a preliminary consideration of the issues involving all parties before suspension is considered, and sets out in paragraphs 65, 107 and elsewhere how that part of the Code was breached.

Had the Code been complied with, I would have taken the opportunity to put my side of the case to the Minister and his advisors. In doing this, it is probable that I would have been assisted by my Professional Association and other experts. After detailed consideration of all options I would have acted in accordance with Professional and Legal advice in the best interests of the Force, the Island, and most importantly the survivors and victims of the Abuse. That entitlement was never provided so we do not know what advice I would have been given, and it is now too late to speculate how things would have turned out had the Minister and others acted properly.

The message from Napier is clear. The Minister and his advisors did not want conciliation, they did not want discussion, they did not want an agreed outcome and above all they did not want to observe the requirements of fair play and the rules of the Disciplinary Code. They wanted quick and ruthless action. The consequence has been that Jersey has experienced one of its most contentious, expensive and divisive disciplinary cases in modern memory, the consequences of which may continue for some time. The Napier report has exposed serious issues of competence and conduct at the highest levels of the Island’s Government. A disturbing precedent has been set. It is now down to those with the relevant responsibility to demonstrate that they can rise to the challenge which the Napier report poses for Jersey and its Institutions of Government.

Submitted by VFC.

21 comments:

  1. And how does our Government react.

    Be afraid Be very afraid

    At Midday tomorrow you will crap your pants

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  2. After learning how our Civil Service and government operate. After witnessing what they are willing and able to do to the most Senior Police Officer and others. I am "crapping myself" almost all day every day, let alone midday tomorrow!

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  3. Do you know if those two officers are back at work yet? the ones that got suspended for alleged rape don a boat

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  4. [the consequences of which may continue for some time.]

    Graham Power was 'shafted' and should receive considerable compensation as well as a very public apology, and those who conspired to remove him from office should be 'sacked'.

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  5. The people of jersey should be given the million pounds that was wasted on Mr powers illegal suspension.

    Those responsible should sacked by the people o0f jersey and never mind the jersey way! as that's a con trick they roll out every time the crap hits the fan, the Jersey way the last retreat of the scoundral...

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  6. Middle Jersey in Revolt over school fees poor dears

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  7. Yes people up in arms over the school fees. It gives us an insight into the priority’s of some Jersey folk.

    We know that a Senior Civil Servant at the education department was investigated for Child Abuse. The Senior Civil Servant remained in post during the investigation and remains in post today. That doesn’t seem to be a concern to the newly formed group “parents For Choice” I think they call themselves.

    “Parents For Choice” are up in arms because they might have to pay a few quid more to have their children educated at a private school. I’m not against their fight, but just can’t get my head around their priority’s.

    I hope this isn’t the case, but the way it looks is. They believe it is OK to have a former Child Abuse suspect in a senior position at the education department, but if they are hit in the pocket that’s not OK. How can they prioritise their pocket?

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  8. 'The Napier report has exposed serious issues of competence and conduct at the highest levels of the Island’s Government. A disturbing precedent has been set'.

    Indeed it has Mr Power, but listening to the States on Tuesday it was very disturbing to hear it all being 'fobbed off' by our CM and Home Affairs Minister. If lessons have to be learnt they are certainly not going to admit to it.If heads should roll,as indeed they should, that will not happen either. Apologies - well, it has been made quite clear that that is not going to happen. Indeed, not only have you been exonerated, but it seems they have somehow exonerated themselves from any blame also, apart from admitting to 'procedural errors'!!!

    So, yes, a disturbing precedent and a dangerous one too, and we should all be worried, very worried.

    VFC - I agree about people's priorities, but it is the case, as ever in Jersey, that as long as 'I'm all right Jack' nothing or no-one else matters until it affects you. A selfish, greedy Island I'm afraid.

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  9. Voice, you might want to do some digging on the Mr Le Blancq who's heading up this Parents for Choice group. He's hardly on the breadline.

    Ali

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  10. Over and above the fees how much are taxpayers subsidising each child to use the island wide school bus network??

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  11. Your 5 points are numbered
    1
    1
    2
    3
    4 !! :)

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  12. After what I believe was a technical glitch, I am pleased to say that the Jersey Evening Propaganda Blog is up and running again

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  13. GST is to rise to 5%, higher earners are in line to pay more Social Security and States departments are to be dramatically cut under hard-hitting Budget plans announced today.
    The rich of Jersey have been ripping the public of jersey off for decades and they just let them do it with a I'm allright jacke attitude.

    Well you do get what you deserve and the people of Jersey are going to suffer because of their own inactions.

    Ask yourself why should one person have millions while another has nothing? pure unadulterated greed.

    "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God," Greed the demon seed...

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  14. VFC

    This was asked on the farce blog but they have been unable to answer any of the points raised. Could you be so kind and give it a go

    Anonymous said...
    Is it true that Warcup or Gradwell, one of them at least is now going to get a quite hefty pension from Jersey for only doing 2 years or so of service? I am not sure which one it was reported to get the pension but one of them is. Maybe you could point out which one? Sorry I cant be bothered to look up the uk newspaper story but I am taking it that you or your readers will know.

    Now, regardless of who it is, do you think it is correct that they should receive a pension for 2 years worth of service. I think it is attrocious if that is the case. Its going to be my fruitless taxes that will pay for a pension based on a pittance of worktime.

    Before anyone jumps down my throat and says it is worth it to get rid of Lenny etc, I dont care about whether it is/was or not I just want to know if anyone thinks that a pension based on two years of work should be payable out of my and your taxes. I would love to land a job that boosts my pension fund, especially as mine is no where near as substantial as one of the above is already getting via the uk.

    Yes I know Lenny and Graham will be receiving a pension bt they have been in place for more than 2 years so please dont answer along the lines of they get it and did sweet fa. I just want to know as a general rule of thumb if people think that 2 years is deserved of a decent pension fund.

    My opinion is that it is not, regardless of what they did whilst here and regardless of whether you think they were right or wrong. Why should they be taking my taxes after such a short tenure? Its no wonder the pension fund is dwindling.

    On another note could you confirm if states members get a pension, I thought they didn't and had to pay into their own. Again as above rant, if they only serve a few years before being ousted, why should they be entitled to a states pension. Maybe they arent, which is why I ask.

    Thanks very much in advance!!

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  15. In answer to your questions. in the Blog we posted on "chosen one" our source had told us this.

    "So Napier was delayed until after August 2010, but why that date?? Because that was the date by which WARCUP would have achieved two years service in the Force and thereby qualified for a public sector pension based on his final salary (that of course being the Chief Officers Salary due to his Acting role.)"

    And no, States Members don't get a pension.

    Hope this helps.

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  16. If that is fact(that the Napier was delayed so that Warcup could get his pension from Jersey) and no States Members saw this coming or disputed it, States Members deserve not to have one.

    More fool them!!

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  17. It has to be said, it is not a proven fact. It is information we received concerning the selection and appointment (subject to States approval) of the next Chief Police Officer.

    If our information is correct, that the next Chief Police Officer is indeed Mike Bowron then it would be fair to assume that the rest of the information we were given might be correct.

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  18. A little off topic but still on the thread of the "accredited" media.

    Deputy Jeremy Macon blows Senator Ben (P9-26 - empty seat) Shenton and the "accredited" media clean out the water

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  19. I put the question that someone copied and pasted to you about the pension stuff.

    I thought it would be worth asking on the hdlg farce blog as I wanted to see what opinion they had on our money being further bandied about. Apart from one person commenting about Bob Hill and his pension from the UK, which is actually irrelevant if, as a states member he is not getting any more into his pension pot.

    Nobody on there apart from the abovementioned answered and in fairness the person who answered possibly thought the same as me that states members get a pension, so apart from that persons response it leaves me with the following thoughts

    1. They believe that now LH and GP have been rubished (their view) that the Jersey Way can continue

    2. The cost of Jerseys reputation at present is worth more than the burden on our future tax paying offspring. It is their offspring that will be paying taxes to fund Warcups pension. But then if you have a little money set asside then its not really a problem!!

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  20. "It also appears that the States and the Public may have been misled as to the sequence of events leading to the suspension. These are serious matters. I imagine that States Members will initially want to know how Ministers intend to act in light of the report’s findings. It is for members to hold Ministers to account. If the issues raised in the report are not addressed effectively people will draw their own conclusions regarding the integrity of the Islands Government."

    "It is for members to hold Ministers to account."

    "It is for members to hold Ministers to account."

    "It is for members to hold Ministers to account."

    Yeah, good luck with that one then.

    ReplyDelete

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