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Thursday, 27 September 2012

"The C.O.I Connivance Begins In Earnest"

Abuse victims closer to Committee of Inquiry

Closer to another whitewash more like!

People who were abused while in care in Jersey are one step closer to a Committee of Inquiry, which will allow their voices to be heard.

Jersey's politicians are hearing recommendations as to the scope of such an Inquiry from a UK government advisor.

Andrew Williamson's report follows on from the Verita Report in November 2011.

But the Jersey Care Leavers' Association is rejecting Williamson's recommendations, and says the Verita Report should be used as a starting point for a Committee of Inquiry. That report has since been shelved by the States.

Mr Williamson said: "One of the most significant developments since the publication of the Verita Report in 2011 has been the implementation of the Historic Abuse Redress Scheme in March 2012.

"The scheme is designed to deal with applications for compensation for sexual or unlawful physical abuse suffered by individuals between May 1945 and the 31st December 1994 when in the States of Jersey full time residential care.

"This programme was launched with a full apology by the States of Jersey to all those who had been abused and significant efforts have been made to publicise the Redress Scheme to ensure that all those who are entitled to claim for compensation do so within the 6 month timescale which concludes on the 30th September 2012."

He said: "Given the significant investment in the Children's Service and the Redress Scheme currently in operation, a number of the original concerns have been or are being addressed. Nevertheless from the interviews I have undertaken and the information I have received there remains a strongly held view that there must be an independent enquiry to examine whether the Children's Services for a long period of time challenged or examined the quality of the services provided and the overall standards of care.

"If this didn't happen, was it a deliberate act and was there a conspiracy within the senior management and political representatives to ignore or deny the issues?"

Andrew Williamson is making three recommendations to the States of Jersey:

1. To convene an independent Committee of Inquiry to look at the decisions taken by both political and senior management of the Children's Services in Jersey during the period 1960 to 1994 with particular reference to the standards of care provided to children in the care system.

2. To commission a review of the decisions taken whether or not to prosecute individuals identified during the police enquiry concerning the various allegations that culminated in the enquiry into Haut la Garenne. This can be undertaken by a lawyer, not resident in Jersey, and should be a review of the legal evidence available at that time.

3. Following the closure of the Redress Scheme in May 2013 the States of Jersey may wish to consider commissioning a Truth and Reconciliation Service to assist those individuals who made claims to talk about their experiences and receive support on a confidential basis. This would also enable those people who claim they have suffered abuse whilst in residential care but do not feel able to give evidence to a full public enquiry to talk about their experiences on a confidential basis.


  1. Nice to see you back blogging Ian. See you soon.


  2. Williamson's statements are poorly worded and he has already made too many factual mistakes to be taken seriously. He comes across as a man who has had no interest at all in fact checking and in the investigation of care of children in historic or recent times. He may even be quoting what others have fed him, regarding previous reports. Blog readers could probably eventually bring him up to speed with a more solid awareness of the history and content of various reports, and of the evidenced reasons abuse survivors and other knowledgeable persons consider Verita to be more robust. However if Williamson was brought in only because Verita was too thorough, Williamson may not wish to know more than his paymasters tell him.

  3. From the petition site....

    Urgent Message to Justice-Seekers for Jersey:

    Until this past week, the victims of Jersey's orphanages were hopeful that a full Committee of Inquiry promised by the Jersey government into the horrific crimes perpetrated against them for decades would allow them to finally state their truth.

    Unfortunately, a robust inquiry may never come to pass. Out of the blue, the Jersey government has decided to seek a second opinion from one of its longtime 'independent' hires, paid for by Jersey taxpayers to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars/pounds. The verdict just came in -- and you can only guess how much it takes into account the victims' rights and feelings.

    Today, the island's only newspaper, the Jersey Evening Post, hailed the new plan as "the best way forward" in an editorial. It dismissed the victims' protests. Referring to the victims, the paper stated, "It is difficult to imagine any initiative emerging from what they perceive to be authority fully and finally satisfying their demands for comprehensive justice."

    Did the paper contact the island's victims' group for a comment? No.

    A letter from the victims to the island's Chief Minister Ian Gorst has gone ignored. The Chief Minister is effectively the head of government on the island.

    Far from being chronically dissatisfied, the victims did approve an initial plan for a Committee of Inquiry, which they considered to be fair and balanced. In their letter to Chief Minister Gorst, they explain that the new plan would allow for too many actions to take place "behind closed doors" and "lacked credibility," adding: "The public are fed up with the secrecy which now appears to be the hallmark of political thinking and we will not give any support to it."

    Again, this is a time when freedom of the press and international support is so important. Thank you for standing up for a true and honest inquiry into Jersey's handling of its crimes against children, not only in honor of those who survived its brutal orphanages, but -- considering all the children who commit suicide while in captivity -- those who did not.

  4. On the video we are told the Verita report has been shelved by the States? Ian are you aware whether Verita presented their report to States members?

  5. Pretty easy to see: Watered down whitewash versus Verita's robust terms of reference. Cover-up versus real enquiry. Pure and simple. Black and white.

  6. I think the States have had the report for about ten months....Not sure who has seen it though?

  7. "Review the decisions not to prosecute"

    That is all that will happen, they will be reviewed, then abandoned.

  8. The Chief Minister received the Verita report in November 2011. It was then presented to the council of minister. Some ministers pooed their pants upon reading it. Williamson was then called in.


  9. Ian.

    Last night's live, and interactive, broadcast recording with DEPUTY TREVOR PITMAN.