Thursday, 23 December 2010
A Press Statement from JCLA
David Warcup and Mick Gradwell will not be remembered fondly by most, and Warcup being portrayed as the “victim” in last Saturday’s Jersey Evening Post only demonstrates just how big a mountain the Abuse Survivors and their supporters have to climb, and will climb.
Press Statement - JCLA.
Having had some time of reflection after the apology from the Chief Minister, and the announcement of the closing of the historical abuse enquiry we, the Jersey Care Leavers Association would like the opportunity of putting our feelings into the public domain.
Firstly, we must make it quite clear that our issues with the handling of the inquiry both by the States of Jersey and the officers who took over from Mr. Power and Mr. Harper, are absolutely nothing to do with compensation matters, revenge or anything else. Indeed it is all related to justice, which ultimately there was very little of. There were one hundred and fifty one suspects, out of which thirty may now be deceased. That leaves one hundred and twenty one, from which seven were prosecuted, not to mention two cases which were dropped at the eleventh hour.
No-one wishes to see people either in, or approaching old age locked away in prison, but to have known that some who were never brought to trial could have been found guilty would have been reward enough for those whose suffering they caused, not forgetting that some of these people still hold high positions in the States of Jersey.
Lame apologies are all very well, even when they do not come across as sincere, but survivors feel very, very let down. Since Lenny Harper and Graham Power left the States of Jersey Police Force, confidence that the inquiry would progress further was seriously in doubt. These two officers and their team treated us with respect, sympathy and in a most professional manner. We were kept informed at all times of the progress of our cases and felt comfortable and at ease with the team. The manner in which the survivors were treated when they were no longer handling the inquiry did not instill a feeling that Gradwell and Warcup were committed to resolving any more cases, and indeed when cases were dropped, no one even had the courtesy to inform all of the abused. No small wonder that it is still questionable as to why these two officers were brought to the Island.
Now we learn that the inquiry is effectively over, we have still had no personal contact from the Police or any other authority to officially inform us. The victims become the victims yet again, treated in a most contemptuous manner as if we did not ever exist. Indeed, it has come to our attention that not all victims and witnesses have even been officially told that their cases have been closed let alone the enquiry! That rather speaks volumes about the way we have been made to feel, and no small wonder that we still have reservations.
The Mainstream Jersey Media, we feel, have been instrumental in marginalizing the abuse survivors. Everybody’s story has been told by the media, everybody’s, that is, but the survivors. Only last Saturday David Warcup was presented by the media as a, or “the”, victim in the Historic Abuse Enquiry. None of the Mainstream media have ever asked us survivors for an in-depth interview like they have Mr. Gradwell and Mr. Warcup. We all have a traumatic story to tell but we are not afforded the same press privileges as some. Mr. Warcup being presented as a victim encapsulates the way this horrible affair has been portrayed by certain parts of the media from the outset.
We, the Jersey Care Leavers Association, have only distributed this Press Release to a number of “Bloggers” because we don’t feel confident that the mainstream media will publish it, or publish it in its entirety. We hope it does get picked up by the mainstream media and published in full but our confidence is low.
There are still more questions than answers, questions that we would still wish to be answered, and also the whereabouts and findings relating to some of the evidence taken from Haut de la Garenne. We as survivors were given strict legal guidelines on 'contamination of evidence', but it appears over the last two years the police have not adhered to this policy in any way, shape or form.
We can only hope that for those in care at present and in the future, very large and important lessons have been learnt. However, for those of us for whom it is too late, we were badly let down by the States of Jersey when we were children, and in the hope that as adults that very same Government would believe us and be able to bring us some closure on this matter, we have been let down very badly once again.
We would like to thank Graham Power and Lenny Harper, not only for the way they, and their team, treated us and the enquiry, but for restoring our faith in the Police Force. A faith that, for the most of us, diminished with their departure.
We have shown patience and restraint under very difficult circumstances. For us this will never go away.
Chair JCLA. (End)
To use the words of Bill Maloney, "God bless all victims and survivors of Child Abuse". And once again, thanks to Ozzy for uploading this video to Youtube.............The fight continues in 2011!!
Submitted by Team Voice.