Home Affairs Committee writes in defence of Guernsey Police

An open letter says recent videos on social media, showing police using force, are being orchestrated by a few, with some political support, and raise the spectre of a breakdown in law and order.

Two videos showing police using force against islanders have been circulating on social media since late May 2024.

Ongoing concern has prompted the Home Affairs Committee, which oversees policing, to write to the Guernsey Press.

The full page letter is from the five political members and the one non-voting member, former Chief Minister Peter Harwood.

They give their 'unequivocal support' to the Chief of Police and the wider force.

Regarding complaints, they say that work on reviewing the Police Complaints Law is a committee priority.

But equally, Home Affairs can refer cases to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The letter goes on to talk about policing by consent, which is the model devised by the founder of the Met, Robert Peel.

In effect, people agree that it is acceptable to have a system of law and order.

Home Affairs says it is increasingly concerned that a small number of individuals, with some political backing from unnamed deputies, are trying to undermine that, which could result in a breakdown of law and order on Guernsey.

Recruitment has been an issue for Guernsey Police for some time and Home Affairs says while it is principally a cost of living and housing issue, the 'current climate' officers are operating in does not help.

The letter questions whether people want officers to act in a 'culture of constant fear that every decision they make will be played out in the court of public opinion without the full facts.'

It ends by saying the police need the support of the community, in addition to appropriate scrutiny if their actions come in to question.

Island FM has asked for an interview with the Chief Of Police but was told that this would have to wait until the publication of the 2023 annual report.

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