Saturday, 25 April 2009

Nice Cop – Nasty Cop?

Graham Power QPM BA, the suspended Chief Officer of Jersey Police was born in Middlesborough, Yorkshire in 1947. He joined his local police in 1966 and was HM Inspector of Police for Scotland by the time he was recruited to Jersey in 2000.

In between he gained an MA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Queens College, Oxford (1976-9) and took the Northern Constabulary to an Industrial Tribunal in 1996 when he was not appointed as Chief Constable. Then, he was supported by the Commission for Racial Equality and he claimed that he lost the appointment because he was English and “not a Scot”. He also gained support from the “English Rights Scotland” group who campaigned against anti-English discrimination and violence in Scotland and the Tribunal declared that;

“The English can claim discrimination under the 1976 Race Relations Act because England and Scotland have retained separate status and identity notwithstanding having been absorbed into what is the UK”

That was an interesting statement especially since Jersey is not a part of the UK and of course Graham Power has supposedly come up against all sorts of “discrimination” and obstructions in Jersey if his former sidekick Lenny Harper is to be believed.
Jersey does not yet have similar anti-discrimination laws in place but they are planned and Power could well expose such inequalities during his forthcoming Judicial Review hearings if he has a mind to – so that could be at least, interesting!

Of course, Power brought in Lenny and Alison Fossey – both senior officers in Strathclyde Police in Scotland where Power was formerly Chief Constable for Edinburgh and Deputy Chief of the Lothian and Border Police. And he has often resorted to Strathclyde Police for back-up and support when needed during his 9 years in Jersey – especially when policing public gatherings and demonstrations.

It may or may not be significant that the Strathclyde force is currently under the journalistic microscope for its policies of infiltration into dissenting organizations such as “Plane Stupid” the anti-airport lobby group and by offering thousands of £’s to potential “spies”.
Did Power bring such policies into Jersey too?

After more than 40 years as a policeman Graham Power must have many enemies and he wrote a damning report on Grampian Police in 1996 following their botched investigation of the murder of Scott Simpson by a paedophile. Then, Power exposed bad practices among his senior policing colleagues and for failing to put a senior officer in charge of the enquiry. His report included 36 substantial criticisms and recommendations for change and was supposed to be adopted as guidance “for all forces” – so he should have known how to run the Haut de la Garenne child abuse investigation or any others arising in Jersey.

Following the Stephen Lawrence murder in London, Power was also required to investigate the system for making complaints against the police (especially complaints against senior officers) and into racial discrimination in Scottish forces. The reports – “A Fair Cop” and “Without Prejudice” are accessible on;

When news of Power’s suspension reached Scotland there were several unflattering observations offered on the “straight talking Yorkshireman” and “hardman”.

“Barobalti” in the Scotsman wrote; “Ask any 10 officers in Lothian and Borders who remember Mr Power….what they think of him, most responses would be unprintable. He has ruined the lives of good people. Some may say he faces a terrible judgment, if not in this world, then in the next at least.”

“Thomas the Tank” commented that ; “This arrogant individual is now enjoying a taste of what he happily dished out to others.”

What Graham Power did in Scotland is presumably just so much water under the bridge now but his more recent activities in Jersey will soon be examined in public during the Judicial Review hearings. Other information will be available in the Chief Constable of Wiltshire’s Report and Senator Le Marquand’s investigation besides the findings of the initial hearing that led to his suspension but how much shall the paying public ever really know?
In any case, why do they want to know?

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

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