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27 November 2014

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Jersey Investigation

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Haute de la Garenne

Have your say

Share your thoughts, feelings and reaction to the Haut de la Garenne story.

On Saturday 23 February 2008 parts of a child’s body were found by police at a former children’s home in Jersey.

The remains were detected by a sniffer dog at Haut de la Garenne on Saturday, and six more sites of interest have been identified there by the police.

The discovery of the child's partial remains at Haut de la Garenne came after a wider inquiry was launched in 2006 into alleged child abuse dating back more than 40 years at premises run by Jersey States and voluntary groups.

The alleged attacks are believed to have taken place between the 1960s and the early years of the present decade, although the bulk of them are thought to have occurred in the 1970s and 1980s.

Share your thoughts

Use the form at the bottom of this page to share your thoughts and feelings on the story. What did you think when you first heard the news of the remains being discovered?

Helpline

Police say it is vital that any alleged victims still unidentified contact the incident room as soon as possible, on 0800 735 7777.

There is also an NSPCC helpline on 0800 169 1173 within Jersey, or + 44 (0)20 7825 7489 from outside.

COMMENTS - THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN YOUR COMMENT APPEARING AS ALL COMMENTS ARE CHECKED PRIOR TO PUBLICATION

Michel

While I dont want to get involved in a Frank/Stuart debate, I must say that I read Stuarts recent JEP interview. It came across as a very Frank interview. I look forward to a similar uncomplicated one with Frank.

Looking through these postings,it seems just occasionally,that information is being drawn from National newspapers. Due to the obvious and blatant innaccuracies that some of these papers indulge in it would probably be wise to make sure information is correct before claiming them as facts,otherwise this forum will start reading like a national newspaper.

Its a shame that some individuals have opted to publish their stories in the national media.It leaves some of them open to being accused of doing it for the money.This public broadcasting of details may not  help the police in prosecuting other cases. Of course as someone has already mentioned there is the possibility of individuals,for a variety of reasons jumping on the bandwagon,which in my opinion has allready happened.  More people have contacted the investigating team following the media frenzy,maybe some because of the worldwide coverage,so maybe despite negative comments on this forum, the media coverage  was enevitable and neccessary. No amount of speculating on our parts will speed up the investigation,so its time to be patient and await the conclusion of Lenny Harper and teams investigation.
Submitted 05/03/08

Dillon

First, what has happened here is disgraceful, undefendable and abhorent.  But to put it in context, and as others have commented, this is not the first time that children in care have suffered, nor will, I fear, it be the last.

It seems to me that what's happening in Jersey, and what may be different in similar cases in the rest of the country, is the gross negligence from those in authority, both past and present. 

People who say that they won't visit the island again with their children are being short-sighted - this abuse didn't happen on the streets, nor is Jersey a safe-haven for paedophiles - this happened in a 'care' home decades ago.  I'll continue to take my children there every year on holiday, because it's a beautiful island. 

Second, the ministers now commenting on this case, covering their backs, deflecting incompetence and slinging mud at others, are doing more to damage Jersey's reputation and reinforce public perception that this sort of thing was inevitable on such a small island.  This case has been a mirror held up to the inadequacies of government and those governing on Jersey, as demonstrated by the Paxman interview.
Submitted 05/03/08

Millie S

I'm quite upset by the number of people making comments here who are attacking islanders who are trying to 'defend' the island.

We're not for a second trying to defend the awful crimes that took place in Haut de la Garenne, I think they're as atrocious as the next person does. However, I do not like the fact that the national media, and hence most people in the country, seem to have latched onto the notion that everyone in Jersey is somehow implicated.

There are 90,000 people living here and I can assure you that 99.9% percent are lovely, law-abiding citizens who don't like the fact we somehow have been painted as people who condone and/or cover up child abuse.

You can call me more concerned about international image than child abuse all you want, but it's not true. I'm just defending myself against the repuatation of being somehow involved in child abuse.

If someone turned round to you and told you that there was a children's home where abuse went on in your town (and there were many UK homes with similar disgusting pasts to Haut de la Garenne), and just because it was in your town it must mean you are guilty of paedophilia too - I bet you'd defend yourself.
Submitted 04/03/08

Nannie P

Shameful to say the least that this has happened in a supposedly safe idyllic island. I do hope the victims find some justice and solace now that its all come to light.

As for the politicians they are not living in the real world and have no idea how the ordinary person exists and I mean exist on a day to day basis on this island. I have given up voting or attempting to try and change the system we are just not heard. This is Jersey at its lowest and those who perpertrated and covered up these horrible crimes must be severely punished.

 Also its about time the UK took an in depth look at how we are being governed. Our chief minister has become a laughing stock and should resign and the majority of his team should follow suit.
Submitted 04/03/08

Perry

I read today on the BBC that UK Armed Forces are now being used to dig at one of the homes under investigation as other state sponsored childrens homes are now being brought into the spot light of these disgusting crimes.

I also read on the BBC that the Howard League for Penal Reform is to investigate Jersey and see how Human Rights can be brought up to international accepted standards. This can only be a good thing to stop further cases of abuse and limit the number of victims, some of which are been investigated to have happened as recently as in the 1980's. With the abused comming forward to say they were as young as five or six that means it is possible for a someone in thier early to mid thirties to have been abused, not such a long time ago in my view. However, if a victim is now in thier 30's , 40's , or 50's does that make the crimes against them any less - I would say not.

Hopefully a review by the Howard League will make it easier for the victims to have thier cases heard and harder for any cover up to take place.

How Jersey rises to these challanges rather than how it mitigates the risks to tourism and finance industries on the island is a better way to internationally  demonstrate support for the thier victims.

I have read on the BBC how victims approached the clergy, the states , the medical profession and how they were ignored and failed by those adults a child was brave enough to approach. I have also read how some of those working at a home approached the states and were also ignored - many such tales reflected on these pages. The sooner Jersey faces up to these events and deals with the outcomes the better the chance of justice for the victims.
Submitted 04/03/08

Dickie Bean

Jenni,
I am not sure what your point (or your problem) is.  All I can really say in response is; SO WHAT.

SO WHAT if the police investigation was already under way.  The fact that it was, as you say, discreet, means that he would not have known about it.  That being the case, he was still right to get on the case as a politian, and human being, who cared. What would you have preferred him to do? Ignore it?   Sorry, that is just what he is alleging everyone else has done over the years.

SO WHAT if he was not talking about Haut de la Garrene.  The similarities he has exposed is the culture of cover ups - no matter where, no matter what level.

Whether you like him or not (in your case clearly the latter)is also irrelevant.  He has expressed his concerns - as he absolutely should have, and he has not put his image, political reputation or his pocket first.

It's a shame some others have not adopted a similar approach.
Submitted 04/03/08

Jenni

I'm outraged so many people seem to think that Senator Stuart Syvret is some sort of saint. Do you people not realise the investigation into alleged child abuse was already discreetly underway BEFORE Syvret started making a noise about child protection issues - so he certainly wasn't responsible for bringing these heinous crimes to light.

Also, Syvret's 'concerns' were originally not even over Haut de la Garene but Greenfields (formerly La Chene), an institution which ultimately as Health and Social Services Minister he was RESPONSIBLE for.

If you people are going to be ridiculous enough to hail Syvret as a hero, at least be aware of the FACTS.
Submitted 04/03/08

Peter Taylor

The watching world must be thinking Jersey suffers from small island syndrome.

It’s obvious from most of the reports of people which have tried to help that there is something very wrong with this islands administration and perhaps even this Islands culture?

One can only hope Jersey doesn't benefit from any tourism this year or the forthcoming years until it changes its collective ways.
Submitted 04/03/08

Mel

It's so strange how people can defend their place of birth or their homeland before their concerns of suspected abuse of innocent defenceless children isn't it.
Submitted 03/03/08

JK

ITS NOT ABOUT JERSEY AND THE U.K AND WHERE IS BETTER. CHILDREN WERE ABUSED MENTALLY PHYSICALLY AND SEXUALLY AND NO ONE LISTENS TO CHILDREN. LETS ARGUE ABOUT WERE IS BETTER DONT THINK SO GET THE ABUSERS AND LOCK THEM UP
Submitted 03/03/08

Anon

Look at the situation from someone who doesnt live on the island. Its not a perfect place, Its a cover up state. I would say that a lot of people who live in Jersey are in a state of denial because of living in state with "little crime". I think its a highlight of a political problem as well as a horrendous crime.
Submitted 02/03/08

Michael

Personally I want to know where the hell Bergerac was when all this was going on. I mean Jon Nettles, as a world renowned detective (not only on Jersey but also in quant English villages!) must have had an inkling that something bad was going on.

Whilst I'm not trying to trivialise the horrific revelations which have come and likely will continue to come out of Haut de la Garenne, some people's reaction is almost as ridiculous as trying to blame a fictitious TV detective. Labeling an entire island effectively as child molesters or blaming those currently in office for something that happened before their time is simply wrong. On the other hand, I simply can not understand  how someone like "joefry" could have lived with the knowledge without informing anyone. Those who were involved, including hushing up, should be brought to justice and my sympathies go out to anyone affect by this awful set of events.
Submitted 02/03/08

Joanne

All this makes you sick to your stomach, I hope soon they name shame and lock up these evil beasts! I personaly will never take my child to jersey. Just call it being over protected! Cover ups and secrets is sooo bad!!
Submitted 02/03/08

Cathy

None of the politicians have come out of this with any dignity.

Senator Walker needs to sack his Public Relations Department and Senator Syvret has conveniently forgotten that he has been involved in Health and Social Services for 13 years, many of those in charge.

This is about children and we need to let the Police do their job and not fend off cover-up allegations.

Lenny Harper is the only person who has come out of this debacle with any dignity and respect.
Submitted 02/03/08

Bridget

Stuart Syvret Has opened up the doors to this Island finally realizing that this Place is rife with Pedophiles and child abusers.

It has gone on for years and been repeatedly covered up,  Close friends of mine went to the "correct" authorities  went to court and because there was not (quote) "enough" evidence thier case was thrown out.  Years have now gone by and for them having to go over all this again has been distroying not only for them but their families..

Not being believed when you are a child that you are being abused sexually or mentally or physically is just not acceptable.

These people that have gone through the care system, have had to suffer at the hands of these sicking individuals . They have got the most amazing strengh to have come forward and having been in the position myself know the knoting feeling, how you are sick repeatedly and feeling you are the child being abused all over again.....

The social services have let these people down and to be honest still are. where is our sex registar? I was told recently that Almost 12 years ago after a young man was convicted of sexual abuse it was said that Jersey should have a sex registar set up then but has not.

For the States this obvioulsy is not as important as the bronze tree or the toad or the cows and what ever else the states have spent tax payers money on, the register has sat idle until now... so they say.... why has it taken so long i ask myself, my mind tells me there is someone or something to be hidden... protection .......... protection ........protection that is what I want for my children. I want to know who is living in my area ( 2 peodophiles are but only know as i read the JEP are living in my area) I have been able to talk to my children and tell them but how many more are there around me..... I want Protection for my children I do not want my Son coming home telling me his teacher has treatened to hit him called him stupid and to get out her sight (my son has learning difficulites and this women was there to help) .... I do not want my daughter coming home telling me she is getting bullied at school for 3 years now but time after time i have gone to sort it but feel that nothing gets sorted out! who do you go to I have gone to the states education ..... whos next  who do I go to who does care about the children.

Abuse is everywhere education, social services in homes. deal with it stop it from happening and do what you can do and its not impossible to get heard.

The states of jersey have got alot of work to do to gain the respect and trust of Jerseys  people.  Votes are needed I know, and the ppl vote them in, i know that to but do they!

I have no faith in Jersesy and if I were in a position to leave and move away I would.  Infact it makes be feel really sad to say it but I am not proud to be Jersey any more..... Jersey is not here for the likes of me a single mother of 3 I am a nobody..... money ..... sad but true is what you have to have to make a difference.

I am sick of hearing walker this syvert that .... stuart has had the balls to stand up and care, knowing dam well that he could loose his job still went a head and stood up for my friends and others, spoke for them and still today right now is there at the other end of the phone to speak to them help them and advise them .... has frank picked up the phone has he gone to see them talk to them advise .......... NO

If you went to your boss said i believe there is abusive behaviour sexual mental going on in another department and not get heard what do you do? sit shut up think o well never mind..no... you say it a bit louder and louder again,then get told your aggressive!!! hmmmmmmm wakey wakey ppl who is right or wrong?

Stuart has in my eyes proved all ready to be the better man here and  to have believed for once and for all in those who suffered.I wait to see the mighty fall! (or those that feel they are)  from an upset annoyed frustrated sad mum.
Submitted 01/03/08

Linda

After reading this it seems most people are more concerned about jerseys reputation than us kids that were in haut de la garenne. I went there from Guernsey after being abused mentally and sexually by my foster father, which was reported to social workers who's answer was to ship me out to jersey. I dont remember much but have had nightmares for years of being in the dark with chains holding me down and being held under cold water alot of my life has been blanked out years of not remembering even going to school etc maybe thats my way to forget. my life has been one of little trust attemted suicides and depression. people say why didnt we say anything we tried and werent beleived or we were blamed after all most of us were the kids with nowhere to go or no one to talk to. These reports have brought back the nightmare but now there more real.
Submitted 01/03/08

Jon Nottingham

This is obviously not an issue of jersey or it's international image. It's an issue of child abuse and a lot of comments seem to forget that. Just reading the defensive comments made by the residents seem to backup the suggested incestuous and inherent failing of the system and those in charge of it. I trust those who deserve it will be punished according...!
Submitted 01/03/08

S.K. Matthews

The Jersey abuse case not only caught my attention but also left me feeling shocked, angry and sad to come across such a case like this. My heart goes out to the victims out there and I hope the authorities will do everything to not only investigate the case further but also give the victims the justice they have been waiting for so long. The monsters who committed the crimes should not be allowed to get away scot-free nor be allowed to take their horrible dirty secrets down to their graves.
Submitted 01/03/08

Perry

Sadly today I read about a brave victim of these disgusting crimes who came forward is now apparently suffering threats of intimidation! There seems to be an element involved in these events that really does not want the truth to come out, even now not matter what the cost.

There are also reports in the Daily Mail Daily Express of a secret bath found at the same time as the shackles reported earlier this week. I dred to imagine what has been going on at that place possibly up until the late 1980's when it was closed as I understand.

I read that the police are considering these vents may have run up until the late 1980's - a possibility not discounted by the policeman heading the investigations, who I note does not come from Jeresy, which can only be a good move at this time along with the invitations to twelve other police forces that have now received invitations to investigate the crimes according to the BBC.

If there is or has been a cover up going on then those responsible will be not sitting so easy today.
Submitted 01/03/08

Roy Goutte

As a Jerseyman living in the UK I would be interested to see if the archaeologists on site at the boys home unearth any Late Neolithic/early Bronze Age human remains as the home is just a stones throw from the Dolmen du Faldouet (spelling) where I played as a child. Cist burials were very common around sites such as this and when the home was first built it would have been possible to have disturbed one or two and the remains discarded into the backfill. It may well be that the human remains found thus far could be far older than was first thought.
Submitted 01/03/08

Tony B

Finally the truth is coming out about Jersey.

We all live here in this “Walker dictatorship” while he surrounds himself with muppets to do his bidding, and if you don’t do exactly as he says then your out.
Well done Frank.

Jersey is becoming more like, Royston Vasey meets the Wicker man, where only locals get any kind of service or help from the government (but only if your related to them) No competition for supermarkets to give people value for money, I wonder how many states members have a family interest in businesses over here.

I have been here for nearly four years now and I feel like a second-class citizen, I can’t get a job that pays enough to cover the rent that the “locals” charge (5 years I have to be here). I have a landlord that says I consume too much fuel during the winter months, so he has turned down the heating forcing me to burn more electricity to heat a room that has only single glazing and a very damp bedroom.

As for accommodation qualifications, forget it!

You don’t need that law here because only the rich can afford to buy from the “locals”. Everywhere you go it is “rip off Jersey”

Here on Jersey, with the eyes of the world closely focused on us, may now be a time to change a few things and make people want stay here and have a better future for “residents” (I live here so that makes me a resident, doesn’t it?) I pay my taxes, rent and bills here,

This gem of a place, like it or not “locals” has to change, let us be proud to live here together and build a better future together.
Submitted 01/03/08

Michael

I WAS IN HAUT DE LA GARENNE IN THE EARLY 70S FOR ABOUT 4 OR 5 WEEKS WHILST MY MUM WAS IN HOSPITAL AND ME AND MY SISTERS WERE PUT THERE TEMPORARY ,AND I NEVER SAW ANYTHING LIKE WHAT HAS BEEN SAID HAPPEN ,BUT THATS NOT TO SAY THAT IT NEVER HAPPENED TO ALL THESE PEOPLE...
Submitted 01/03/08

Andy

Well Pete Smith if you think (as do I)the Paxman interview was a  disgrace. What about the battle of the chairs at St Martins parish hall. CHIEF MINISTER he can't even control his closest civil (or in this case uncivil.) Servents !!!
Submitted 01/03/08

Bex

Perry - I suggest that you don't let your children out of your front door if that is your attitude. Tragically children are abused everywhere, all of the time. How do you know your next door neighbour isn't peering through the fence when your back is turned? Until there is a public sex offenders register, no one will.

To suggest that Jersey will now become a magnet for paedophiles and abusers is absurd to the point of laughable. The (alleged) cover-up appears to have been about covering the backs of those corrupt individuals in power and their friends; not condoning abuse and welcoming perverts with open arms!

I work for an agent who brings holidaymakers into the island and business the last few days has been as brisk as usual - thankfully not everyone is as smallminded as you appear to be.

May long overdue justice be served as quickly and with as little trauma to the victims as possible. May those who didn't survive rest peacefully. If we're lucky an 'aftershock' of this case may be a good hard look at the establishment and those involved in covering this up, but our first thoughts must be with the victims.
Submitted 01/03/08

Bob

I was in care at different times and at different homes including Haut de la Garenne though the 1950s and 1960s five times in all.

I WAS abused but NOT while in care I was abused at infant school, and at my second school ( one of the better ones in the Island) I and my siblings were abused at home phyisicaly and mentally, It was like being on Holiday at Haut de la Garenne and Brigadon children's Home I received more love and caring while at the childrens home than I did at my own home...I firmly believe that there are a few but not all who are ( and I mean no disrespect to those who were abused) jumping on the band wagon
Submitted 01/03/08

Dickie Bean

Derek Bernard -Is it really any wonder that people attack him?  When Syvret was discussing dead children on Paxman's show Walker accuses him of trying to 'shaft' the island!!  What an extraordinary choice of words in these circumstances and a clear example of his political ineptitude.

If most people (you clearly excluded) had a choice between protecting our children or our international reputation - a clear reference to finance - I think I know what right minded people would think.
 
"That Senator Syvret’s very successful efforts to make Jersey look evil and incompetent on the world stage should get public support is extremely disturbing."

I think believe Walker - and his script writer Bill Ogley (who people don't understand actually makes the big decisions in the island) have done a great job in making the island look evil, incompetent, secretive and nepotistic.
Submitted 01/03/08

Kelly Major

I find it quite interesting how people are so divided over this topical issue. I find the presence of child abuse in any society disgusting, whether in Jersey or anywhere else in the world. It is my hope that those who did commit any crime against any children will be prosecuted and bought to justice.

Unfortunately I do not think it is the discovery of abuse itself that has bought the most negative media coverage to our Island but the notion of a cover up and poor political practice.

Frank Walker and Stuart Syvret need to get over their issues together and remember the Island that they both work for. It is incredibly unprofessional for them to let their personal vendettas and feelings disrupt the governing of the Island. One positive of this whole ordeal is that the Jersey government system has been given a realistic jolt. A reminder, if you will, that there are outside parties in this world who look down on the way our political system is run. I find it saddening that not only is there a history of abuse but that it has taken something like this to get our politicians (who are meant to represent us)to think about how they have been conducting themselves.

Over time I do hope that justice is brought to those who wronged the children whilst I also hope that the States of Jersey listen to this wake up call and realise for once that maybe they can't have their own way all the time.
Submitted 01/03/08

Debbie Samad

I was born and grew up in Jersey; now I live in the U.S.A.  My memories of Jersey are of an idyllic place, but a normal one, with its share of faults. I do still love 'The Rock' and have been back many times, and brought my family to visit. Lately, the Island has appeared to me to be in danger of being irrevocably spoiled by overdevelopment by people and companies who just don't 'get' Jersey, and who, chiefly, are trying to get rich(er). (That is beside the point, I know, but I am grateful for the opportunity to express it).

When first I heard about this story I was really, really, shocked. Now, 24 hours later, after having read a lot on the BBC World Service website, and considering the recent 'Duke Lacrosse Case' in North Carolina, I urge diligence and caution and a very careful and transparently impartial investigation. The media and the general public should resist the temptation to whip things up; everyone should calmly and rationally wait while reputable investigators do their work. A 'feeding frenzy' of publicity and speculation does no good and may even do actual harm. A lot of judgements seem to be flying around based on accusations and incomplete and unprocessed evidence. Those with a grievance need to speak up, and those who were in positions of authority must be allowed to defend themselves, (in court if necessary), but please, not in the papers and on TV! Everyone else needs to back off and let Truth prevail. One is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, n'est-ce pas?

I have known people that worked at Haut de la Garenne, and, while I realise that it is possible that abuses took place, I will be very surprised if any of the people that I knew were perpetrating abuse on the children in their care, and I believe that they are entitled to the preservation of their good names until evidence PROVES otherwise.

America is different, I know, but those Lacrosse players from Duke University who were accused of raping an exotic dancer at a party were found innocent; many media pundits have published retractions of things they said about those young men when everyone seemed to assume that they were guilty. The prosecutor was found to have witheld evidence that did not support the prosecution's case; he has been sacked, and he recently filed for bankruptcy; the accused team members are in the process of suing the prosecutor, the University, the City of Durham, and, if I remember correctly the story I read in Raleigh North Carolina's News & Observer, about 50 other people or organisations!

Fools rush in.........!
Submitted 01/03/08

Barry Huelin

Speaking as a Jerseyman living in New Zealand, I can confirm that this story is on the world stage, I have lived here for 35 years and have never heard the islands name mentioned so much for all the wrong reasons.
Submitted 01/03/08

Ian

Syvret for for First Minister, give me a break.

He was the first to jump on the media band wagon and cause the circus we have today with all the usual inaccuracies and misquotes.

Between him, Walker and Le Sueur they have made Jersey a laughing stock. The only person to come out of this with any credibility is Lenny Harper.
Submitted 29/02/08

FCB

It a very sad time, and we all should think about all the children that were at the home.  Frank Walker is a disgrace all he does is to try to score points, against Syvret.  H[s main intrest is the Finance industry and that all he worries about,As far as he is concerned the Finance industry is Jersey, nothing else matter it's time that we encourage the tourists back, farming and other things.It is also time that some one called for him to resign from his position as Father of the House as it has become apparent that he is not the right person for this job, he and his little click have become to controlling and like their own way, and dont respect other peoples ideas or comments,Come ono ne of you other States members show some back bone, time to stand up and be counted tell Walker to stop spiting his dummy out and keep his temper and personalcomments  under control,
Submitted 29/02/08

Anonymous

I am a child nuse working and living in one of the most deprived areas of not only manchester but the country and I come into contact with children in need on a daily basis. I grew up in Jersey unitl i came to university, which jersey paid for. I am obviously horrified at the recent event. But since arriving in manchester I never thought such poverty and deprivation could exsist in such a well established country.

I was very lucky to grow up in jersey and disagree with anyone who thinks I am smug for saying. I never believe u truely appreciate where you were brought up, but I was wrong until i compared it to the UK. I would not bring my children up in manchester, for the definate fact that they would be subjected to a whole host of crime u would not experience in Jersey. What has occured is a multi system failure which I am sure no longer exsists. 
Submitted 29/02/08

Perry

Today two more victims were brave enough to go public on the abuse they suffered at the state run childrens home, and there are more entries in this debate from those that have suffered at the hands of those disgusting abusers. The quicker those evil abusers are punished the quicker those abused can rebuild thier lives. The quicker Jersey can rebuild the 'image' the Jersey leaders hold so dearly.

I also read today on the BBC reports of shackles found in the cellars, consistent with the victims statements, which it is claimed were use to chain children against the walls. Before the next dismissal of these contemporary relevance of these events on the grounds that it happens elsewhere in the UK or a long time ago, I would ask them to consider when they last read of that happening to so many in one place, maybe then they will understand better others disgust at these events.

There are also reports of finding a secret trap door again consistent with the victims statements. What next, I fear more to follow.

The mind set of those that seek to compare Jersey with the rest of the UK baffles me and why do they stop there?

It is pointless and misleading to compare the 90k population with the 62m of the UK or how about the 360m of the USA, or have those people also calculated the ratios of crimes to population to substantiate thier views already?

The proper answer is one case of abuse is too many and those that seek to justify events through maths seem to pay scant regard to the first victim let alone the last. Surely all victims are as valued as each other no matter when and where they were abused!

Jersey needs to look outside the current administration and learn from recent events in Pakistan to progress. That country called in another to investigate an assasination to ensure there was no conflicts of interest and an independent, transparent investigation was carried out.

Victims have reported that the Jersey authorities were aware of the abuses and they had no where to turn to seek help and beaten if they tried for thier troubles. Jersey needs to wake up and deliver not delay further.

Jersey leaders must have the names of those they employed and entrusted with the safety of children and I do hope they will be ensuring they are contacted and asked for thier views as they have a valuable contribution to set the record straight. I do hope they are as brave as the victims and come forward to name and shame those who they know for certain and can prove carried out these crimes. Should they remain silent they are just as guilty in my view.

Jersey prides itself on self rule but it remains to be seen if prides itself the same on justice for the victims. In my view, given the delay of the past two years, not yet.
Submitted 29/02/08

Larry Breton

I felt utter revulsion when first hearing the news about what was discovered at the former children's home in Jersey- initially, I never associated it with the island or the people on it, that is, I didn't think 'Jersey is a bad place to be'. But when you read some of the comments, and especially when I saw the reaction of the Minister when confronted by Paxman, it was obvious there was for some people who live in or have associations with Jersey, another agenda, motivated by their fear of businesses failing and property values plummeting as a result of the publicity.

As if the horrors that have been reported by those affected as children in the home, wasn't enough to put aside any selfish emotions at a time like this, when their thoughts should be with the poor little souls whose lives were blighted by this obscene scenario, we were witness on tv to the mind set of a senior Jersey politician who demonstrated ('off camera') where at least some of his more pressing! concerns lie.

Such misplaced priorities seem to run alongside with what appears to be a consistent failure of the Jersey authorities to ever take these allegations seriously enough at the time. Apart from the 'anon' who comments here that a 'mountain is being made out of a molehill' (someone who clearly has no sense of reality) I am sure that most ordinary Jersey folk are equally shocked and appalled by what has effectively gone on under their noses for a very long time.

Stating that these crimes go on elsewhere in the world (and even suggesting that somehow 'worse' things happen elsewhere)is equally crass, and again attempts to somehow minimise the seriousness of these crimes on the island, and is wholly inappropriate under the circumstances.
Submitted 29/02/08

Peter Smith

I watched the Paxman interview in total disbelief as Senator Frank Walker made us all look like an Island of insensitive people.

Mr Walker needs to remind himself that this is NOT about Jersey's international Image, but an issue of neglect and child abuse!!! 

His actions of late have been highly unprofessional and more aimed at his personal vendetta with Senator Syvret, who was the only politician out of all the States Members to draw attention to this issue.
Submitted 29/02/08

The Ruddler

I wonder if the stocks were anything to do with when Jimmy Saville visited many years ago, I seem to recall a "throw a wet sponge at a politician" game at an open day in the 70's (maybe when he was Mr. Battle?)  Clearly they may have had a more sinister purpose and pelting a couple of our present (and ex) Ministers is obviously a very desirable thought at the moment.  I post this not to be flippant but I do seem to recall these being used at HdelaG way back in the day for an entirely innocent and fun purpose.  I'm also sorry to post anonymously but there it is, needs must at the moment.  More power to the constabulary, a great deal less to the 2 juvenile leads in the sorry sub-plot of this sad and tragic tale.
Submitted 29/02/08

Rosie Travers

i was brought up in haut de la garenne and then work worked there. i was never abused in care and i never saw any abuse although some staff were heavy handed. i would also like to say that the majority of the staff were from england and scotland. i have been to see the police, as, since i have left i have heard some terrible thing about a boy who committed suicide. i know of other lads who have committed suicide, i now wonder if it is because of what they suffered. as for frank walker he is a multi millionaire who loves the power of being [sic] chief minister
Submitted 29/02/08

Mick

To Perry: What you are saying is so bizarre as to require comment...

You say : "I would agree with those who feel that two years of investigating with no published results appears to be a cover up of the past. This is an insult in my view, to the victims of the past and does not instill confidence in me for the future."

How many times must it be said... the Haut de la Garenne allegations happened years ago. That is not to detract from their gravity for one moment if true, but investigations into offences over 50 years old take a lot of time, not least because many people will have died over that period, memories wil have faded and evidence will have been lost. The victims deserve a thorough job by the police, not a slapdash investigation.

Secondly, it helps not one jot for media coverage like we are seeing at the moment, sweeping allegations made by those who simply know nothing, the salacious disclosure to the media (by politians!) of information that may or may not be true. All it threatens to do surely is scupper the fair trial of anyone who is brought to task! Sure as eggs are eggs, the first thing that will be claimed in their defence is "how can they receive a fair trial in such a small island after that frenzied coverage". But hey ho... the "presume the whole island guilty" attitude ! hardly sets a good example either does it?

You say: "It begs the debate of how many children may have been abused in Jersey in the past two years and could that have been prevented if the investigations had been concluded earlier. Time will tell and that may come back to haunt Jersey in the future, I really hope it does not."

Again, the abuse being investigated appears to be historic ie: not current. I have not heard anyone say that it has been happening in the last two years. If that were the case, then Syvret's head REALLY MUST ROLL - as this is squarely within the period that he was in charge of child care.

You say: "I know not all Jersey Beans abuse children as I know good people on the island, have been there many times, and will return when I feel it is safe to take my family. That is my freedom of choice and I know others of the same opinion."

What a strange sweeping statement! My god, there are a hundred times more murderers, rapists and paedophiles in the UK. A hundred times as many politians with personal agendas, and just as many disgruntled people with a political axe to grind. Here's an analogy.... I heard the Yorkshire Ripper was evil, that there was a blitz in London 60 odd years ago, and that child abuse in the UK was also widespread in institutions in the UK in the 50s to 70s!.... but lets not visit the UK either...my family will be a lot safer that way! I'm surprised you can step out of the door in the morning!

"However, it is clear that some people on Jersey have abused children as there have been interviews with the victims on the BBC. This is another fact".

Yes, there has been documented abuse in Jersey. It is a very sad thing that abuse like that which has been alleged exists worldwide. What concerns me is that people bandy around the word "fact" from what they have read in the media. Lets not forget that the standard of proof needed to convict someone of a crime is very high, and their are various presumptions of law to be considered in our modern justice system - in Jersey as with any other civilised society. If the allegations are true, then it goes without saying that I hope that the authorities are able to gather enough information to prove it, both to prosecute the perpetrators, and to ensure that nothing like this could happen again.
Submitted 29/02/08

Peter

The events of the past few days are very distressing. Distressing for those who lived at the home and who might have been  directly involved and also I am sure rather unpleaseant for the police who I am sure are doing a great job in such difficult circumstances.

The behaviour of our policticians however is something else. PATHETIC the lot of you. Only thinking of your own reputation. You are showing your true colours.

I have been a supporter of Stuart Syvret in the past but I have to say that I think he has now gone abit too far. You have had your say Stuart and quite right too but please now let the professionals to get on with their job and bring those guilty of these outrageuous crimes to account. And Mr Walker, stop going on about Jersey's International reputation and worrying about your own. SELF SELF SELF! We live in a free world and the media will report what they want whatever you or anyone else might say when trying to defend Jersey. Jersey WILL recover. Sad as this sounds but all this news will be next months 'chip paper' and the Jersey justice system will get on with its job and punish those responsible.

Most people on this planet will know that all these bad things happened a fair few years ago and will hopefully feel that these occurences are not a true reflection of what Jersey is in 2008. Saying that, our policticians need to stop thinking that Jersey is so perfect and a model place to live. 90,000 people live here and not everyone is an angel!! We are past the days of being able to leave front doors unlocked.
Submitted 29/02/08

Anon

Jersey has failed to protect its most vunerable children at every level. in the community, in homes and outside organisations.

The children of the past are the adults of today thankgod these poeple are standing up to the Jersey establishment to get justice and change, then maybe the children of the future will have a chance of a normal childhood free from abuse  and exploitation Thankyou Stuart Svyret for having the morals and guts to stand up for us ,I THINK THE POEPLE OF jERSEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO VOTE YOU IN AS CHEIF MINISTER.  thankyou to jerseys child protection unit now, for your integrity and comassion shown to these victims,your work is commendable.
Submitted 29/02/08

Anonymous

No one really knows yet what happened at Haut De La Garenne, although hopefully this investigation will bring out the truth.

I was born in Jersey, and am a little indignant at those implying that Jersey will now be seen as a 'safe haven' for pædophiles. There are rats in all communities, but Jersey is no worse than (and I suspect in reality a good deal safer than) any other part of the UK.

One thing is certain....senator syvret is a good man, who believes in the truth and does not give two hoots about the old boys club that we all know have ultimate say on the island. It still continues...their sons and grandsons are at Victoria College, being groomed for the roles in future years. Mr Syvret may be mistaken, only time will tell, but there is no way he would have come out with all this if he didn't have very compelling evidence.

Well done Stuart, for once again daring to attack the establishment so openly...in the Island's long history he remains one of the only people with the sheer guts to do so. I offer him all my support, and pray for the souls of all who were affected by the evil events at the place where they should have been safe...'home'.
Submitted 29/02/08

Derek Bernard

I am very sorry, surprised and concerned at the many callers who attack Senator Walker for standing up for Jersey’s ability to run its own affairs, even complex and emotional problems such as those unfolding at Haut de la Garenne.

Jersey’s independence is, by far, its most valuable asset.  Further, the concept that the UK is some sort of “centre of excellence” in child abuse is literally farcical.  Not a year goes by without some grim case of child abuse and failure by numerous UK government agencies comes to light.

That Senator Syvret’s very successful efforts to make Jersey look evil and incompetent on the world stage should get public support is extremely disturbing.
Submitted 29/02/08

K Dawson

I think there is more to this investigation than meets the eye. The police are saying over 160 people have come forward claiming they where abused whilst at the childrens home, why has this never been noticed before and followed up with action being taken to the people repsonsible?

I can only try and understand how the victims feel but surely if i was being abused or knew of people being abused i would of made sure the people who have abused all these children where prosecuted.
Submitted 29/02/08

Luise Zanthyr

The only thing i knew about jersey island was that the jersey cows came from there. thats what we learnt from school . Now noone will be thinking of cows. there is nothing innocent  about this place. Sinister more like it.

My question is ; Will the name of every child who had the misfortune to come under the care (sic) of these vile creatures be traced ? And the record set straight in terms of sucide, addiction, mental breakdown, unemployment. Now that the lid is off this rottenness let the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth prevail
Submitted 29/02/08

Paul

I was resident at Haut de la Garenne in the early 1970s. For those of you still in any doubt about the abuse accusations. Let me assure you that they are true! I was a boy of 12yrs and spent 3 years there and was sexualy abused regularly by female members of staff!
Submitted 29/02/08

Michel

I continue wandering how this institution failed,and why it failed in relatively modern times.Take a look at the photo elsewhere on this site of the dormitory that i shared with about twenty kids. You really would need to be a heavy sleeper to not be aware of any untoward behaviour.With the introduction of girls at the end of the fifties/begining of the sixties the dormitories I am told were subdivided into smaller units.They were certainly that way when i had an opportunity to take a look just before the conversion to a hostel.The seperation of kids into smaller units is confirmed by another resident in the 'memories 'section This seperating of kids into smaller groups may explain why it is that there are such contradictory experiences,especially in the sixties.
Submitted 29/02/08

Len

I heard very clearly Lenny Harper state (maybe not verbatim) in one of his early interviews that this type of investigation was not unique to Jersey. Do we need to place a massive banner across the building to get this point across. With all the copious newspaper reports, some accurate some seriously exagerated, feeding us information on a daily basis, its Mr. Harpers open, candid level headed and cautiously worded updates that are to be trusted. I noticed a few complaints about the amount of political comments on this site and though they bore and annoy me, its unfortunately the nature of forums and this case in particular that the topic can get sidetracked.
Submitted 28/02/08

Anonymous

I think peoples comments like it happened in the 60s is detremental to the victims. these comments are also trying to bury this nasty thing again. it did in fact go on into the 80s that means that at 37 i went to school with victims, befriended others during my life time and heard their horrific accounts of childhood abuse believe me have cryed for those poor kids,some of the the working class of this island have been aware for many years about abuse they are the victims.after all high society do not put their kids into care.

they have only just found a voice and  courage to speak out ,try and find the courage to face what has happened .give these victims the dignity and support to finally heal.do not denie them of the need for someone to believe ,they have been waiting for that all their lives.

abuse on children scars them for ever.For those whos lives have never been touched by this evil you will never comprehend how every day your life is plagued with pain , flashbacks.fear, feelings of worthlessness . every person now given statements will be reliving those experiences every min, they will feel like children again, scared and alone back in a dark place they have tryed so hard to forget.

A show of compassion is needed here not comments like it happened years ago, or i dont believe it happened , believe me it happened and it was as rife in the community as much as in care homes i know it happened to me in my own home for 8 years by two relatives
Submitted 28/02/08

Graham A. Smith

After reading only a few of the various "Anon" people (typical cowards!), it's obvious that they obviously want to minimise what is a terrible situation, and for some of them to state remarks such as "This happened many years ago!", is typical of them.  The fact is, this is probably far worse that some Dickensonian novel, and that 'aint so long ago either. 

What is the world (especially the UK, or its associated islands) coming to?  If these extremely evil people are found out, they should be HANGED in public, and possibly in front of the very victims that are lucky enough to be still living!
Submitted 28/02/08

Joan, St Helier

Enough! I am so ashamed of our politicians.  Politically incorrect but quite frankly they need their heads knocking together.  I will never vote for either again - and I always make a point of voting!  They should both be ashamed of themselves.
Obviously, and rightly, truth will out.  FORGET POLITICS FOR NOW.

If, and when, bodies are discovered - let them rest in peace.

I would add that justice should most certainly be done, and seen to be done. 
Submitted 28/02/08

S Smith

If abuse was known at the top levels of government as alleged, then how can Jersey police be trusted? Perhaps 3rd party investigation would be better.
Submitted 28/02/08

Bill W

I'm a Jerseyman living in London. I watched the interview with Paxman with embarrassment and shame!!

The 'authorities' in  Jersey still believe it better to criticize a politician who asked questions than to face up to the fact that its the system that is rotten to the core.

Our reputation is now of an island of inbred child molesters and child torturers and looking from outside its hard to argue against the point especially when the 'Chief Minister' is more concerned with the 'image' of Jersey than finding out what happened to these poor kids!

For the sake of future generations Jerseys 'affairs' need to be overseen by outside judges.

The island has a real moral problem on every level.
Submitted on 28/02/08

Perry

Michael, please take time to read my submission rather than fly off the handle, seek retribution and try to stiffle free speech or movement. I do hope you will then understand better.

In my view Jersey will now be seen by child abusers as a destination where there is less chance they will be caught and or punished due to the percived cover up by the authorities, clearly reflected on this website.

It is a fact that there are / were child abusers on Jersey as crimes have been committed and bones of have been found along with hidden cellars, a third cellar found today, which are being investigated.

It follows that as nobody has been convicted of these disgusting crimes it is a real possibility that they still walk the island.

Sadly I fear there maybe more bones and finds from the reports of the third cellar today that, apparently, does not appear on any of the plans for the building run by the leaders of Jersey. That is just bizzare knowing the planning regulations over the years enforced by Jersey States.

I read on the BBC that the Jersey Police have received around 170 calls reporting abuse crimes according to the BBC. No amount of typing on the internet will change that which is why I ask Jersey to wake up and act quickly, having had the least two years to investigate these crimes.

I would agree with those who feel that two years of investigating with no published results appears to be a cover up of the past. This is an insult in my view, to the victims of the past and does not instill confidence in me for the future.

It begs the debate of how many children may have been abused in Jersey in the past two years and could that have been prevented if the investigations had been concluded earlier. Time will tell and that may come back to haunt Jersey in the future, I really hope it does not.

I know not all Jersey Beans abuse children as I know good people on the island, have been there many times, and will return when I feel it is safe to take my family. That is my freedom of choice and I know others of the same opinion.

However, it is cleat that some people on Jersey have abused children as there have been interviews with the victims on the BBC. This is another fact.

It is also a fact that those who have been abused are more likely to abuse and if Jersey does not give the help these people need and derserve, rather than carry out a possible cover up the horrible crimes that were committed against them. Who knows what they will be forced to turn to in order to deal with their deamons. Poor souls.

Those interviews I have seen and read, show the victims have had no or little help, were ashamed to speak out,knew of other victims and one of the two sisters interviewed was now an alcoholic and in tears.

What help will that poor lady now get and when? Jersey could do a lot for itself if it started with those poor women. I do hope it does as they have been brave enough to come forward and is not society judged on how it looks after the needy?

I read today the man who Paxman interviewed was a Frank Walker and it was he who said he did not say what we watched him say on Newsnight and he is in charge! How can that be?
Submitted 28/02/09

Anon

I'm getting really quite annoyed by some of these comments.  I was born in Jersey and know and love the island very well - i do not consider myself to be almost a 'higher being' nor am i 'smug' because i from Jersey - I'm proud of where i'm from.  That's not to say that i'm proud of what's happening.  We need to look at this for what it is:

There has been a discovery made that happened in the SIXTIES and maybe as far back as the OCCUPATION i do believe its 2008 now - maybe more than 60 years after these things happened.  Yes it's a shock to the island because as people have pointed out it's a close knit community but that's not to say it's 'creepy' etc like stated by someone else here.

I live in London currently and I have to say, where i am now, there are worse things that happen here every day - this is probably the worst thing to happen in over 20 years for Jersey.  So let's not make a gigantic mountain out of a molehill here.

I hope that there are answers and i hope that the people on this investigation can clear things up for all involved.  But remember Jersey as an island is NOT a haven for peadophiles; nor is it an island of child molesters!  You can't judge the entire island for something that happened a long time ago - especially if you've never been there yourself or you're voicing your "opinion" based on what has unfortunately been portrayed in the media.
Submitted 28/02/2008

Anon

I was born and raised in Jersey and would like to mention that its very difficult to convict an island of 85,000 people, many of whom were not born when the alleged abuse took place, although it seems many people on this wall are rising to the challenge.

What happened in my home island is disgusting and people need to brought to account but having had watched various local politicians and civil servants go about their business for years they are simply to useless and inefficient to have undertaken a prolonged cover-up, this is gross incompetence at its very worst but please do not credit our leaders with more intelligence than they deserve.

Is Jersey perfect? No, but then human scum populate every town and city in the world.
Submitted 28/02/2008

Bob

reading the latest comments about the disgraceful and horrific accounts of abuse at Haut de la Garenne. i have lived in jersey for over 30 years coming like many others to an island of beauty, and in some cases it still is,(except the waterfront) many people are liking jersey to parts of the uk in the cases of abuse,crime ect. but the diffrence i believe is that jersey really is more like a small village perhaps somewhere in scotland only 9X5 in size we have bigger farms than that, but going on when something like this happens it reminds me of the old saying children should be seen and not heard, i think the cases of abuse were allowed to go unnoticed becouse over 40 or so years ago when some of the crimes are bieng talked about that was what life in genral was like, remember police, teachers (espcially) and some parents were allowed openly to beat you, but as the years rolled on some things changed laws brought in, and people did change the way they behaved, but when someone is bieng abused on a daily basis it is hard for them to say anything WHO COULD THEY TRUST, when the abuses were the ones in charge, it breaks my heart to hear what has unfolded over the last week or so and i am sure more allegations will come to light.
Submitted 28/02/2008

Paul

I thought it had been noted that the abuse and crimes (if any) at Haut de la Garenne occured in the 1960's. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I'm fairly sure it is now 2008 - how exactly are current members of government being accused of a 'cover up'? Most of them would have been under the age of 15 at the time!!

All we know at the moment is that a child has died and the remains have been found at a former childrens home. 160 people have rung the police regarding abuse or WITNESSING abuse. No doubt some bad things occured there (as I'm sure they did across the UK at the time) but let's stop trying to turn it into some isolated Dickensian school of torture.
Submitted 28/02/2008

Bruce

This is a political issue. This abuse occoured at a states run institution. The idea that it remained undetected on such a huge scale clearly points to a cover up, as the establishment and old boys club stick together. this is institutionalised rape, torture and murder sanctioned by the establishment and hidden to protect the image of jersey. jersey is not an island of paedophiles and paedophile protectors ... the establishment is.

there was nowhere for victims to turn to, and all dissent is crushed. syvret has done the morally right thing under extreme and malicious circumstances, he may not always do it the way it should be done, but given the nature of the people he is up against, he did the right thing. jersey politics is the politics of violence, intimidation, rape, torture and murder covered by a veneer of smug self congratulation.

its about time things started to change.
Submitted 28/02/2008

Michael

How dare you make a comment like that, Perry.

Do you actually realise that you have basically just called Jersey an island of child molesters?

Is that how you honestly perceive it? If so then I think it probably best that you never return to the island. I for one would love to bump into someone in the street and be accused of something that horific to my face - at least then I would have the opportunity to react in the fashion that a slur like that deserves!

Please do NOT feel the urge to post any more of your idiotic and thoughtless remarks!
Submitted 28/02/2008

Anon

Anyone would think that Jersey is the only place in the world where something like this has happened.Has Mr Harper got to appear on T.V every day with all his buts ifs and maybes? Is it not time to come up with something positive after almost a week of intensive searching with the latest technology. After all the enquiry has been ongoing for nearly two years
Submitted 28/02/2008

Perry

Jersey needs to wake up and fast. I have been there many times but will not go back until I think it is safe to take my family.

It would now not suprise me that any child abuser looking for a holiday destination this summer or a place to live would think Jersey is exactly where to go, maybe feeling safe in their minds that thier disgusting crimes will be covered up for many years to come.

Those responsible for the conducting and tollerating these crimes should hang thier heads in shame and be brought to justice before they can commit further crimes.

I watched Paxman of the BBC interview the Jersey leaders charged with sorting out these events and I would not trust them with the safety of my children for a moment. One of them could not remember what he said on camera previously although everyone had just seen it!

It baffles me why Jersey people put up this and it is a sad, sad day for the island!
Submitted 28/02/2008

Richard

Reading the above comments, 2 things spring to mind. The first being 'The removal of Frank Walker as Chief Minister'. This I believe, due to our non-accountability within out politics, is impossible, only he can remove himself (Not too good is it). And secondly regarding his TV interview, he really cannot handle being 'spoken too or should I say at', how does that feel Mr Walker? Now you know how we been feeling since you self appointed yourself into the Chief Ministers position.

Enjoy your '15 minutes of fame' !! Oh and as a footnote well done Stuart S for sticking to your 'guns', (I know what you are doing is right but I really hope things are being blown out of proportion, for everyones sake)
Submitted 28/02/2008

Peter

I stayed at Haut de la Garenne in 1961 during the time that these things were supposed to be going on. I am horrified and distressed to hear what has been going on, I saw or heard nothing untoward during my stay of several Weeks... I have been abused as a child both physically and sexually (but not at Haut de la Garenne ) and I have made a statement to the police, I hope those people responsible rot in hell
Submitted 28/02/2008

Joker

Any case of abuse is intolerable and it is sad that Jersey is added to the list of places where this has happened on a large scale. It is good that this has been brought into the open and every effort needs to be put in place to establish the facts & bringing to justice those responsible; something our Police are doing competently.

The media reports about the Island in general been disgraceful as usual; from the two facts established so far (reports of multiple cases of abuse & child remains being found) they have concluded amongst other accusations that the people of Jersey are: incompetent, backward, Nazi sympathisers, anti simetic and secretive.

The have failed to mention that abuse is not just a Jersey problem but was in fact rife in institutions all over the UK right through to the early 80’s. Why do they feel the need sensationalise this sensitive issue further by making Syvret the silenced hero to uncover all this when in actual fact he was in charge of the department for 10 years & nothing was said. He could have jeopardised this case with his Xmas rant & has never, in his 10 years of Health Minister, set foot in some of the homes he has criticised (Chief Minister material – are you kidding???).

Also obvious is the fact our politicians need a serious crash course in how to deal with the likes of Paxman etc. It is clear they are used to dealing with the local media and have not been exposed to more rigorous questioning. Syvret needs to stop electioneering & the Chief Minister should know better than to be duped into a head to head argument with his nemesis on national TV.
Submitted 28/02/2008

Jennie

I'm from Jersey in the Channel Isles, and I know 3 people who went to Haut de la Garenne, my siblings from my dad's first marriage.

No where is perfect, I think the UK people are forgetting the daily murders, knife crime, robberies and child abuse that it has. The UK has been the home to such people as Rose and Fred West and Ian Huntley!

I'm not saying Jersey is perfect, and I'm not proud of what has been discovered, but the comments of some people saying that Jersey is sick, and that we are an embarassment?

We're not all padeophiles! So don't treat us or refer to us as padeophiles!
Submitted 28/02/2008

joefry

Ive lived in jersey for 13 years and while working in the care industry I learn't about some of the horrific abuse that went on.. I could never understand why if so many people knew about it no one was ever prosecuted.. thank god this is comming to light at last.. I hope at last those that were badly damaged will get some sort of justice.
Submitted 28/02/2008

lebrocq

surely its an opportunity to kick Walker & co out, Syvret is by far the most credible leader, all walker is interested in is the bloody finance industry( tax evasion), after all a small child has died here! 
Submitted 28/02/2008

Michael

I find it hard to believe the way people's minds can work. Here we are in the middle of one of the largest investigations Jersey has seen in modern times, with 40 suspects and 160 victims being identified already, with the possibility of at least one murder of a child (please note - not a confirmed murder). Reading through the comments made by so many people here you would assume tis was only a political debate. I thought the name of this article was "Have your Say - on Haute De La Garenne" not "Who Should Be Chief Minister".

There are so many people that dislike the States for who they are that they are using this horific story as a soap box to try and make a change within the government. Is that not a little sick? Should we not all be focusing on the story at hand? Surely anything that the States have been involved in within this can, and most likely will, be dealt with - but after we can close this book of childhood abuse.

Some of the other comments also bother me. People who may have never even seen the island are making comments about the people that live here now. I have lived in Jersey for 10 years - moving here long after any of the cases that are involved in this investigation happened, and yet people who don't know me would assume that I look down at them because I live in a "rich" island.

Please don't let your personal opinions of a place that you know nothing of control your thoughts during this awful time.

I'd also like to congratulate John Orville for somehow managing to use a saddening story of Jersey to try and complain about the price of property! That is what I call real emotion and heart felt grief for people that may have had years of suffering.

Let us not forget the many other tragedies that are happening in our back yards... the disappearance of Madelaine McGann, or more recently Shannon Matthews. Also back in our news and hearts is Milly Dowler. There are evil people doing evil things that we are letting be overshadowed by personal battles and opinions when a more beneficial approach would be to aid police in their enquiries to speed up any results to cases like we are discussing.
Submitted 28/02/2008

Anon

My first reaction was shock, having only lived here 2 years. Then it turned to realisatin that they will find more remains up there, that there is likely people still alive who knew of or even participated in this abuse. I also feel the states know more than they are letting on. It needs to be outed and stopped, and any one found guilty to be named. God bless whoever went to that place...
Submitted 28/02/2008

AMD

I think that the time it is taking to carry on the investigation and the lack of information being referred back to the media by the police is again a ploy on the part of the powers that be to detract attention away from this case. 

No-one is suggesting that abuse is central to Jersey culture, it seems that some terrible acts have been committed and they happen to have been committed on Jersey.  Rather than try and protect 'the reputation' of the island, I suggest the local people realise that the best thing they can do in the eyes of the national and international press is be seen to deal with the situation as efficiently as possible.  At present, futile attempts to make this a non-story are increasing interest, demonstrating ineptitude, and - stupidly, a hush-hush culture.
Submitted 28/02/2008

Adam

To the reader who placed the comment "Jersey is an embarrassment"!!

I lived in Guernsey for 6 years and spent a great amount of my business and social time in Jersey. I do not think for one minute Jersey or any of the Channel Islands are an embarrassment.

I now live in London and we should look closer to home about embarrassment, living in London is no picnic with politics and crime.

Yes this is a tragic case and I do not condone it for a second, but let’s not brand Jersey as an embarrassment when it is not. I would also like to know how much experience and knowledge the people brandishing Jersey as an embarrassment have of the island!
Submitted 28/02/2008

Glenn

I was in the home in the 80's I was lock in a jail like room metal door. You couldn't hear anything outside so I believe nothing could be heard from the room out I have found this very very hard as something happened that has affected my life what when on there should of never happened and how people can do what they did is wrong to the people that had nothing I'm finding this very hard to talk about as I have had to live with this for a long time I have a wife a two children how do you tell anyone what happened.
Submitted 28/02/2008

T. Declan Tynan

We in Ireland had the same dreadful events happen in so called ‘Children’s Homes; beatings, forced hunger, rape and suspicious deaths.  At first few believed or wanted to believe that it happened at all. Brave people came forward to tell their stories. In the end the perpetrators were tracked down and punished by the courts but only when the authorities were force to act by public pressure.
Submitted 28/02/2008

Anonymous

With such an emotive subject as child abuse it is difficult to know where to begin. Obviously such abuse cannot be tolerated and is despicable. However, from what we have seen so far, the Haut de la Garenne situation concerns "historic" abuse.

What concerns me is that the media are reporting the story as if the home has only just closed down yesterday. That is clearly not the case - it has been closed a very long time. What makes matters worse is the political blurring of the investigation.

Whatever people may be saying, in 2008 Jersey people are comparatively lucky, when you compare us to the rest of the world. What we need to do is uncover how this historic abuse was able to take place, and make sure it is never able to happen again. And if the perpetrators are still alive, they need punishing.

Ah, and Syvret is hardly a shining example is he? In charge of the childrens service for nigh on 8 years, and fails to do raise any concerns until after a Police investigation is underway, and then still refuses to take any responsibility whatsoever. In any other country the minister in charge of such a department would have resigned!
Submitted 28/02/2008

Bobby

Where are all of Frank Walkers cronies defending him on this and other boards?  They've all gone into hiding and the self-preservation instinct has kicked in.

Even they realise that he has shown his true colours and they are not attractive to the outside world.

I propose Stuart Syvret as Chief Minister with immediate effect.
Submitted 28/02/2008

John Orville

"Like a deer in the headlights" was how someone described Frank Walker when he was interviewed. Forget the term Banana Republic, Jersey has invented the phrase Seagull Republic meaning a small, isolated community run by insular people with delusions of grandeur.

Jersey's slavish reliance on the finance industry has created a 2 tier society where locals earn an average of £27,000 but an average house is £450,000!

Haut de la Garenne has highlighted the inefficient government we have to suffer under and if nothing else positive comes out of this, at least we can hope for a government of the people, by the people and FOR the people of Jersey. Not vested political and financial interests.
 Submitted 28/02/2008

Dickie Bean

As a local I welcome the 'intrusion' and world focus on our affairs because it may force the change we really need.

Few people outside the island will know that Frank Walker, our esteemed leader, was not voted into office by the people of Jersey.  He was voted in by SECRET ballot against a tide of popular opinion. 

A secret ballot to decide the leader of a government in a 21st Century civilised society?  Surely not?  It did.

Worse still, our chief judge controls what can and can't be said in our parliament. He was responsible for the repression of free speech when Mr Syvret tried, once again, to focus our government's attention to this scandal. 

We need change, NOW.  The system stinks, no 'free, fair and transparent' election of our leadership and no free speech. True democracy in Jersey is an illusion.

Rant over.
Submitted 28/02/2008

Simon Cowen

It sounds to be like Stuart Syvret should be awarded a medal for having the courage to stick to his principles to get this affair out in the open. Submitted 27/02/2008

Ellen

"A dark cloud hangs over Jersey" is what I just read on another page; there's only the dark cloud because it's been made into such an issue.  Obviously it's a big story to have come out of Jersey but I feel the reputation of the island is being damaged, Jersey isn't perfect but it's not a terrible place either, these things don't happen every day.

I think for the people affected by this it is important for them to have some answers, and as an islander I'm keen for this to be solved to get Jersey out of the media for the wrong reasons; like I said it's not a bad place to live!
 Submitted 27/02/2008

Chris

We lived in Jersey for two long years, and I have to say it gave me the complete creeps.

I couldn't put my finger on it precisely, but it reminded me of one of those movie USA hick towns, wherein the Sheriff runs the show and the locals collaborate in covering up his nefarious schemes, most willingly.

The locals truly believe they are the luckiest people on earth to live in Jersey; they really are smugly sad for the rest of us mere mortals.

Jersey needs to be scrutinised for lots of other abuses too, exploitation of migrant labour, basic human rights, corruption, conflicts, transparency to name a few.
 Submitted 27/02/2008

Paul

"Jersey is an embarrassment to the UK"??

Because this kind of thing has never happened in the UK has it? Just daily murders, rapes, robberies etc. Jersey is just a microcosm of the UK - including all the petty, corrupt government officials who seek to line their own pockets. I don't see how inviting numerous committees and sub committees into the island to examine the systems in place would in any way benefit people.

Aside from which NOTHING has been proven either way yet or even if a crime has been committed! Stop being so media-led and wait until some conclusive proof appears before passing judgement.
Submitted 27/02/2008

Stephen

Jersey, though technically a crown dependency is an embarrassment to the UK. Jersey should now be subject to an investigation to the heart of its legal and government systems, instigated and carried out by the UK government. Jersey has demonstrated an ineptitude in its ability to protect the well being of all of its people.
Submitted 27/02/2008

Darren

I think its Risk assessment time for the government.

Look at any of the comments pages on the national newspapers and other media websites and its clear that this stigma will remain associated with Jersey for a long time, if not forever.

On another note, I do not appreciate Frank Walker telling me via the JEP (surprise surprise) that I didnt see him ripped apart by Jeremy Paxman and Esther Rantzen.  I saw his ineptitude under pressure with my own eyes.

This man should step down now.  He is single handedly damaging Jerseys reputation every further day that he remains in office.  He should do the DECENT thing and resign.  As Chief Minister this whole sorry business is ultimately his responsibility and he is way out of his depth.

He is surrounded by such sycophantic fence sitters that don't have the spine to tell him to just shut up.  Shame on you all.
Submitted 27/02/2008

Mike Ellis

As someone who was brought up in care, I am not surprised by the latest uncovering of child abuse in Jersey and have no doubt that Jersey is by no means an isolated case. We for our part at the charity "National Society for Children and Family Contact" wish to extend our thoughts and prayers to all who have suffered this heinous crime and offer our free support helpline service to all those in need.

Mike Ellis, Chairman: NSCFC, 0870 7940075, www.nscfc.com
Submitted 27/02/2008

Dave

Small self governing Islands are reknowned for this type of thing and it wouldnt surprise me at all if there has been a cover up.
Submitted 27/02/2008

Anonymous

I think that people should stop pretending that Jersey is perfect. This is one of Jerseys biggest stories, and one of the worst.
Submitted 27/02/2008

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