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Police Inspection Report Published

Her Majesty's Inspectorate has judged that Jersey's Police force serves the island well in how it investigates and deals with crime, but raises several areas for improvement.

The Inspectorate has published a report of its inspection of Jersey Police in the autumn of last year.

The review took place during a challenging time for Jersey Police.  There wasn't a Chief Officer because of the death of Rob Bastable and the force had just started a major restructure within a reduced budget.

That overhaul caused concern for investigators - who thought combining Police and Customs and Immigration with Law and Border Enforcement could compromise the independence of the chief of police.

Home Affairs Minister Constable Len Norman says those concerns have since been resolved.

"I am pleased to confirm that in the months since the inspection we have resolved many of these issues and there is now clarity in the relationship between the Police and Justice and Home Affairs.

"I am satisfied that there is a sensible balance between the operational independence of the Police and appropriate Government oversight of the force, exercised through me as Home Affairs Minister.

"Jersey has a police force of which we can be proud, which protects Islanders, prevents crime and safeguards vulnerable individuals, but the report makes clear that there is room for improvement."

The Inspectorate has also praised the police for improving staff morale, but said it was hampered by a lack of accurate and comparable data, needs to better understand its workforce's capabilities and needs to do more to attract staff from under-represented groups.

It also found that work needs to be done to look at how crime is changing and the impact of hidden crimes such as modern slavery and human trafficking.

"Inviting HMICFRS to inspect the SoJP was an important step forward in how the JPA continues to assess the performance of the police.

"The report suggests areas for improvement and proposes some recommendations to assist with performance and staff wellbeing. We will continue to work alongside the Chief Officer and the Senior Management Team to develop these recommendations and have already made commitments to implement them in our Policing Plan for 2020 which is due for publication in the coming weeks.

"The timing of the report is further welcomed as SOJP enter a new financial planning term alongside colleagues in government. This allows us some certainty that the operating structure is affordable and sustainable.

"Jersey can be very proud of its police force. There are many areas of this report which praise the dedication and commitment of its Officers and Staff. The report also recognises the challenging environment of the past two years with the absence of a substantive Chief Officer and the restructure of government departments. We are delighted to be welcoming our new Chief Officer Robin Smith, who will join us in early January 2020.” - Jason Lane, Chairman of the Jersey Police Authority.

The police points out that resourcing is undoubtedly a factor in a number of the areas highlighted and says it's looking forward to welcoming at least 30 new officers to the force in 2020, thanks to a commitment in the soon to be debated government plan.

"We believe that Jersey has a police force of which they can be proud. This has been a challenging period but it is clear from this report that there is much to celebrate. Our commitment now is to do all that we can to learn from the report, to improve, and to ensure that we remain an effective police force in the service of our whole community." - Jersey Police

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