History of Inquiry

On 6th December 2010 the Island's Chief Minister made a formal apology to all those who suffered abuse in the States' residential care system, acknowledging that the care system had failed some children in a serious way.

This statement followed the conclusion of an investigation by the States of Jersey Police, named Operation Rectangle, into historical child sexual, emotional and physical abuse in a number of institutions in Jersey.  Operation Rectangle reported and recorded a total of 553 alleged offences between September 2007 and December 2010.  Of these, 315 were reported as being committed at Haut de la Garenne Children's Home.  Eight people were prosecuted for 145 offences and seven convictions secured.  The Police identified 151 named offenders and 192 victims.

In his apology the Chief Minister promised that the Council of Ministers would consider whether there remained any 'unanswered questions' that required further investigation by a Committee of Inquiry.

On 2nd March 2011 the States Assembly formally requested the Council of Ministers to establish a Committee of Inquiry to investigate a number of 'unresolved issues' in relation to historical abuse in the Island:

(1) What measures were taken to address inappropriate behaviour from staff when it was discovered, and if those measures were insufficient, what other measures should have been taken?

(2) How did those in authority at political and officer level deal with problems that were brought to their attention?

(3) Were there any mechanisms in operation to allow children to report their concerns in safety; and what action was taken if and when concerns were voiced?

(4) Was a consistent and impartial approach taken when deciding on which cases to prosecute; and was the process free from political influence or interference at any level?

On 6th March 2013 the States Assembly agreed the Terms of Reference for a Committee of Inquiry to undertake a wide-ranging investigation into historical child abuse in Jersey.  The Inquiry would  allow victims and others to recount their experiences, to establish how establishments caring for children were managed and to compare this to the norms of the time.

On 10th December 2013, following a rigorous selection process, the appointed Panel took the oath of office before the Bailiff of Jersey.

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