Friday, 20 January 2012

The (Multi?) Million £ Minister


As a result of written questions asked by Deputy Trevor Pitman of the Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand, we can see that under the Ministers leadership he has cost the Taxpayer in the region of £1m on at least four investigations into alleged police misconduct. Not one of these investigations have resulted in a single disciplinary charge against any Police Officer let alone a criminal charge.

It would appear that, in the Minister's answers (below), legal advice and Lawyers fees are not included which means the true cost of these investigations could be millions of pounds.

Millions of pounds, in these times of austerity, spent so ‘Words of Advice’ can be given. The most notorious of these investigations has got to be that of the Wiltshire Constabulary's bungled Investigation where Chief Constable Moore never did get back to us.

Regular readers will be aware that Senator Le Marquand released, to Jersey's State Media, parts of the Wiltshire Report (the Prosecution case against Former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM) but still has not released Mr. Power's statement to Wiltshire (the Defence Case). Naturally the State Media were only too happy to peddle it out to all and sundry. A disciplinary investigation that cost in the region of a million pounds (possibly lots more) that produced not a single disciplinary charge just like all the others that Senator Le Marquand has been responsible for.

BBC Jersey has been in possession of Mr. Power's statement to Wiltshire (defence case) for approximately FOUR MONTHS yet despite the fact that they have reported on the prosecution case, they've still not published/broadcast a single word of the defence. More about that in an up-coming Blog.

The questions and answers below beg the question "can the Jersey Taxpayer carry on paying for this multi million pound Minister?" Another question is "why have Jersey's State Media never challenged the Minister on his waste of Taxpayers money?"


WRITTEN QUESTION TO THE MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS BY DEPUTY T.M. PITMAN OF ST. HELIER ANSWER TO BE TABLED ON TUESDAY 17th JANUARY 2012

Question

What investigations, if any, have taken place in respect of the allegations that States of Jersey Police officers acted illegally during the investigation of the case of Curtis Warren and others; and if there has been an investigation, what was the total cost and the outcome?

Answer

An independent operational review followed by a criminal and misconduct investigation has been conducted by Hampshire Constabulary in respect of this matter.
The Cost of the Investigation is £17,084.
Case considered by Law Officers’ Department – now the subject of consideration of internal discipline.

WRITTEN QUESTION TO THE MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS BY DEPUTY T.M. PITMAN OF ST. HELIER ANSWER TO BE TABLED ON TUESDAY 17th JANUARY 2012

Question

Will the Minister provide details of how much money has been spent on external inquiries and reviews in respect of alleged disciplinary issues since November 2008 and how many police officers, if any, have been convicted of any criminal or disciplinary charges as a consequence?

Answer
The States of Jersey Police has engaged four UK Police Forces since November 2008 to conduct enquiries into alleged misconduct matters –

1.       2008 – Thames Valley Police
Investigation conducted at nil cost to the States of Jersey Police Travel costs of £690 met. No officer convicted of criminal or misconduct charges.

2.       2009/2010 – West Midlands Police
Internal Personnel matter Investigation conducted at nil cost to the States of Jersey Police Travel costs of approximately £1,800 met. One officer given ‘Words of Advice’.

3.       2009 – Warwickshire Police
Organisational complaint Investigation conducted at nil cost to the States of Jersey Police Travel and accommodation costs of approximately £1,200 met. Complaint Unsubstantiated.

4.       2011/2012 – Hampshire Constabulary
Operational Review; Criminal and Misconduct investigation Cost of Investigation £17,084. Case considered by Law Officers’ Department – now the subject of consideration of internal discipline.
Additionally, in November 2008 the Chief Minister’s Department engaged the Wiltshire Constabulary to investigate the management and supervision of the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry by the Chief Officer of Police. The cost of that investigation was £572,532.
In 2009, I commissioned a further investigation by the Wiltshire Constabulary (Operation Blast), which was completed at a cost of £301,088. 3 Police Officers and a civil servant were given ‘Words of Advice’.(END)


A word of advice (that won't cost millions of pounds) for Senator Le Marquand: Stop wasting time and money on what appears to be a personal vendetta against the Former Police Chief, give him, and the survivors of Jersey's Child Abuse, something that resembles justice and then resign.

21 comments:

  1. So in his answer ILM did'nt mention Wilstshire and did include the legal fees in all of the cases. Is that right? Did Deputy Pitman pull him up on that with a supplementary question?

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  2. ILM DID mention Wiltshire, (below) but to the best of our knowledge DIDN’T include ANY legal fees. Deputy Pitman couldn’t ask any supplementary questions as these were written, not oral, questions.

    “Additionally, in November 2008 the Chief Minister’s Department engaged the Wiltshire Constabulary to investigate the management and supervision of the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry by the Chief Officer of Police. The cost of that investigation was £572,532.
    In 2009, I commissioned a further investigation by the Wiltshire Constabulary (Operation Blast), which was completed at a cost of £301,088. 3 Police Officers and a civil servant were given ‘Words of Advice’.

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  3. So that's about £900,000 in total plus the mystery legal fees. And I saw no mention of BDO alto.

    And no charges. Just 'words of caution'.

    Maybe Deputy Pitman could ask for the legal fees next time? And also in the published set of figures included SOJ officer time or if all those costs are external?

    That would be very interesting!

    Going to be a few million I reckon.

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  4. It's time there was a vote of no confidence was brought against ILM and it shouldn't be left to deputy Pitman. There are supposed to be 50 other independent representatives in the states that should now know how much ILM has wasted of tax payers money. Which one of them will step forward?

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  5. "I commissioned a further investigation by the Wiltshire Constabulary (Operation Blast), which was completed at a cost of £301,088. 3 Police Officers and a civil servant were given ‘Words of Advice"

    What would a Civil servant be doing caught up in operation blast I ask? Could this be Bill Ogley? 3 police officers jeez what a mess an expensive mess.

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  6. An anomaly hopefully the Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand, will be able to clarify.

    Should he reply to the e-mail (which is very doubtful) I shall consider it for publication.

    voiceforchildren voiceforchildren
    17:21

    to i.lemarquand, t.pitman

    Senator.

    I contact you in the hope you can make some sense of something for me. In recent written answers you gave to Deputy Trevor Pitman you said.

    "1. 2008 – Thames Valley Police
    Investigation conducted at nil cost to the States of Jersey Police Travel costs of £690 met. No officer convicted of criminal or misconduct charges."

    Could you tell me if this is the same case you were answering to the question submitted by former Deputy Bob Hill.

    "2.3 Deputy F.J. Hill of St. Martin of the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the suspension of 2 officers from the States of Jersey Police:

    Would the Minister confirm that 2 suspended officers from the States of Jersey Police have recently been cleared of all allegations of assault? Will he give the cost and duration of the suspensions, the cost of the investigation and the cost of the disciplinary hearing, including any legal costs? Is he satisfied that the matter was handled correctly and, if not, what actions, if any, will he be taking?"

    Senator B.I. Le Marquand (The Minister for Home Affairs):

    I can confirm that the 2 officers were cleared of all disciplinary charges at a hearing on 23rd February. They were suspended each for a period of just less than 18 months. There is an indication in the written comment that there was a period of 7 months of delay caused by the existence of the criminal charges and the time taken to make decisions on that, an additional 4 months delay caused by issues of them obtaining legal advice and the matter had been adjourned off and co-ordinating with the dates when an officer could come from another force to conduct the matter. During their suspensions they received their salaries. I am not going to give individual figures for the officers because that would in fact identify the grades and I want to preserve, as far as possible, the anonymity of the officers who have been cleared of disciplinary charges. But the total sums that they were paid during the period, including pension rights and other things, is £249,020. The total investigation costs came to £94,269. The major amount of that was, in fact, legal advice obtained in relation to the disciplinary proceedings as to whether they should be continued, and if so in what form after the criminal matters had been dropped. That was £60,438. They were other acting-up costs, overtime costs and costs of accommodation in the Island. Coming now to the major question. I am satisfied that correct and appropriate procedures were followed both in relation to the suspension. I have made detailed inquiries as to what principles were covered in relation to the suspension. I have already indicated to this House that I am perfectly satisfied with the system being followed by the police in Jersey, which mirrors that which happens in the U.K. in relation to such matters, and I am satisfied that correct procedures were followed, advice was appropriately obtained and there was appropriate oversight of the investigation at all stages." (end)

    The reason I ask is that your answer to Deputy Pitman and your answer to former Deputy Hill can't both be true (if you are talking about the same investigation)

    In your answer to Deputy Pitman you say "nil cost to the States of Jersey Police" but in your answer to Deputy Hill you say "The total investigation costs came to £94,269" of course we know (from your answer to Former Deputy Hill) that the over all cost was £249,020.

    Could you let me know, firstly are you talking about the same investigation, and if so, which one of the answers is true?

    VFC.

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  7. Yet this is the very same Ian Le Marquand who made this following statement about Lenny Harper, a statement now rather disproved by the BDO Alto Report.

    Maybe he should practice what he was so willing to preach way back then about financial management and spending.

    Jersey's Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand - 14/07/10

    "Jersey's Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand gave his reaction: "The fact is that the level of standards here was so low that even on a basic managerial business, we're not even talking about police officers, he fell well below those standards. It's not brain surgery, anybody, any reasonable person could see that the way in which the initial press matters were handled was totally and utterly wrong. Anybody with any common sense can see that. The financial management issues are so basic, allowing officers to remain on double time pay for months when all you had to do was roster them and they go on time and a half, I mean this is beginners stuff."

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  8. Makes you wonder who these people were, who dare to give these bent coppers and civil servant "words of advice"?

    pot-kettle-black....

    Comes to mind!?

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  9. Jill.

    The hypocrisy of Senator Le Marquand appears to be boundless when taking his Press Release into consideration.



    Press Release from the Minister for Home Affairs in relation to the financial management of the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry

    During the Review that was recently conducted in relation to the BDO Alto report into financial management of the part of the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry which related to Haut De La Garenne, I was reminded of the exaggerated nature of some of the reporting in this area and agreed, in fairness to Mr Power and Mr Harper, to make a press statement to seek to correct the worst exaggerations.

    These exaggerations included allegations that most of the cost of the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry was wasted and that digging should never have started at Haut De La Garenne. Some of the reported criticism of the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry has wrongly led some people to the conclusion that, in some way, the whole enquiry had been discredited.

    The definitive reports in this area are the two reports of the Wiltshire Police. Those reports conclude amongst other things:
    1) That the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry was appropriately managed in its early stages.
    2) That issues of serious concern did arise in relation to the financial management and other aspects of the investigation in relation to Haut De La Garenne.
    3) That the decision to start digging at Haut De La Garenne was not so clearly wrong as to give rise to a disciplinary issue.

    In my press conference in July 2010, I indicated my view that, once a piece of material had been wrongly identified by an anthropologist as being part of a child’s skull, it was reasonable that the digging at and around Haut De La Garenne should continue, but that once the forensic experts indicated that the item was not human skull, the reason for continued digging ceased.

    I also now wish to affirm and confirm that the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry was much wider than the Haut De La Garenne investigation, and that this enquiry led to a significant number of successful prosecutions as well as to the discovery of significant other allegations of physical and sexual abuse which did not, for a variety of reasons, lead to successful prosecutions.

    The Enquiry continued until 2010 and I am satisfied that the Police investigations were fully and properly concluded in relation to the various allegations of abuse which were made.

    Ian Le Marquand
    Minister for Home Affairs January 2012

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  10. I agree with your poster about how this can't always be left to Deputy Trevor Pitman. He is just going to be singled out as the next Stuart Syvret otherwise which will help none of us.

    I can see that he really can't ask his wife Deputy Shona Pitman to follow up as then this will just be twisted into a personal thing to try and discredit the questions. To be fair Shona Pitman already does a good job holding ministers to account in other areas so I'm not taking a pop at her.

    But what about the other 'good guys' we have in there? Where is Higgins? Where is Monty Tadier? Where is Geoff Sothern? Where is Roy Le Herissier? And so on and so forth?

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  11. having just listened to the jersey way recording 0f ILM desperately backtracking following the scrutiny report revelations I noticed that he said that the abuse inquiry was properly handled under Warcup.This just does not square up with current revelations.

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  12. How much money - in total - has been spent on the entire operation - and from what sources?

    For example, how much has been spent from the Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund?

    And spent on what, exactly?

    And how much has been spent from "States" money - i.e, central taxation revenue?

    And there's going to need to be some good - very good - forensic-standard answers to that question - because it says here - in Article 61 of the Public Finances Law: -

    "61 Unlawful acquisition or use of money of the States

    (1) A person shall be guilty of an offence if the person secures for himself or herself, or for any other person –

    (a) the improper payment of money by the States; or

    (b) the improper use of any money or other resources of the States."

    Because, obviously, if any States money was payed over, or used in any way for an "improper" purpose - oh, you know, like maybe funding spin-doctoring as a component of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - then that would clearly constitute the "unlawful acquisition and use" of States money.

    And given the various improper motivations and conflicts of interest that engulf many of the key playas - anyone who assisted, or acted for such individuals will have been "securing for another person" the "improper use" of money and resources of the States.

    Now, of course anyone engaged in such criminal acts could have, and would have, laughed in the face of such laws in days gone by - secure in the following very common Jersey legislative provision:

    "66: Authority for prosecutions

    A prosecution for an offence under this Law shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Attorney General."

    But just think:

    What happens when the Attorney Generals are in the dock along side you?

    When an objective and impartial Attorney General - from outside the island, who has no connections with the Jersey oligarchy - has been appointed and put in place from London - because that's what the Crown has to do - to save its reputation?

    As the 17th century English churchman, Thomas Fuller famously observed, "Be you ever so high, still the law is above you."

    Perhaps the Jersey oligarchy and their vassals genuinely did believe that they could escape that reality?

    They do say power corrupts - and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Stuart

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  13. To end the Jersey lawyers monopoly, abolish all "Crown" appointments, create a Department of Justice with the Judges, public prosecutors abd law advisers to the States all appointed after advertisement and on the basis of ability....
    cannot be too difficult to achieve surely?

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  14. Tom Perry's point proven.

    For those who have read our previous posting which was a guest posting from Tom Perry where he explained how the word "historic" is always used, almost exclusively when it comes to Child Abuse.

    If Tom's case ever needed proving then this has just been done and you'll never guess who proved it........The discredited Wiltshire Police of all people!

    Taken from the link above.

    "A Wiltshire Police spokeswoman told the newspaper: "We can confirm we are investigating historical allegations of child abuse by an employee of Cunard cruise liners."

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