Tuesday, 9 June 2009

CODED INFORMATION – A Jersey Police Enigma

If you have the misfortune to be detained at Jersey States Police HQ you might wonder about your rights and what might happen to you.

Your relatives or friends might wonder too and the answers should be found in “SOJ POLICE CODE C”.

The States of Jersey Police CODE C booklet was first published in 1992 and more or less followed the UK PACE standards which in turn followed the vague and discredited UK Judges Rules.

Initially the Jersey Code C booklet was available to purchase at the Greffe bookshop for 50p and copies were available at Police HQ to inspect but for some reason they always declined to offer copies for sale. One excuse was that the Police had nowhere secure to keep the money! The Code itself requires that it shall be readily available at all police stations for consultation by officers, detained person or members of the public.

At the end of 2001 the booklet was revised in accordance with the then proposed (Jersey) Police Procedures and Criminal Evidence Law. That Law was enacted in 2002 and so the CODE C booklet now relates to that and current Jersey practice.

Unfortunately, the Greffe Bookshop was stopped from selling the booklet for some reason and the Police seem very reluctant to make a copy available to anybody unless actually detained for questioning or for some other reason on Police premises. It is not known if this was a policy decision initiated by Graham Power.

However, there is some good news because Senator Ian Le Marquand the Home Affairs Minister has now investigated the matter following representations from “The Voice” and he has promised that copies of CODE C will once again be offered for sale to the general public.

Of course, the booklet is not an easy read and the 40 plus pages of A4 would be difficult even for a law graduate to understand under the stressful conditions of a police cell – especially if English is not the first language.

Whether Stuart Syvret studied the booklet during his recent 7 hours detention is not known to this writer but it is essential that full information is made available to all persons who are held in any of the Police stations, whether at the Ports or other places and anybody who cannot obtain a copy of CODE C in the near future might like to advise us at “The Voice” or better still contact Senator Le Marquand directly;
tel. him on 766078 or e-mail i.lemarquand@gov.je.
Submitted by Thomas Wellard.


Anonymous said...

How about the Hobby Bobbies and the Customs and Immigration Services - do they follow the same Code or do they make it up as they go along like most others in Jersey?

TonyTheProf said...

"One excuse was that the Police had nowhere secure to keep the money!"

Given that £5,000 went missing at Police HQ, I think back in the 1980s, it is not surprising! I know one employee there in the 1980s, George Parrot, laid a trap with a wallet with money marked with die, and it went missing from HQ, although the towels in the wash room were stained blue.

GeeGee said...

Well, hopefully I would never need to read on, but, it is rather disturbing that it has not been available for public interest for some time.

Nowhere to keep the money eh?? Only in Jersey!