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Committee for Home Affairs looks forward to Scrutiny public hearing

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The Committee for Home Affairs has signalled its support for a planned public Scrutiny hearing on the recently-published inspection of law enforcement.

Committee members have unanimously welcomed the opportunity to attend the Scrutiny hearing, in which they will be able to clarify the Committee's position on many areas covered in the report.

Deputy Mary Lowe, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, will also discuss the inspection by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services when she delivers a statement in the States at the end of the month updating on the Committee's work.

While the Committee welcomes the inspection report and is committed to working with Bailiwick Law Enforcement to address its recommendations, Members felt strongly that clarification was needed in some areas.

Deputy Lowe said:

'Any suggestion that our Committee has not operated strategically is simply not true. People need only look at the context in which we commissioned the report in the first place to see that. The Committee was formed in May 2016 and immediately recognised that we needed an inspection of law enforcement before we could determine its future strategic direction. The inspection was commissioned within nine months of taking office. In doing so, we also opened ourselves up as part of the inspection process, again recognising that the view of external inspectors would be invaluable for our Committee's future deliberations.' 

Deputy Rob Prow, Vice-President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said:

'I'd like to address the suggestion that law enforcement is in some kind of "halfway house". I think the position is very clear for law enforcement, in that it's all about collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. Full merger is not on the table and this Committee has never suggested it is.

'The Committee under its mandate does have oversight" for issues of quality of service and we also have a duty to pass on representations we receive. This is not giving any direction but rather is us feeding in concerns or comments. It is for law enforcement to determine what if any action is taken on representations.  The report makes some very sensible recommendations which can help improve this process and the Committee is absolutely committed to deliver on that.'

The Committee also felt it important to clarify the circumstances by which minutes of committee meetings were released to the inspectors. The Committee provided HMICFRS with all relevant minutes relating to law enforcement. Minutes were redacted only where they related to matters unconnected to Law Enforcement.

Deputy Lowe said:

'The Committee welcomes the report, however it is safe to say we don't agree with everything in it. This is normal; if we'd wanted to agree with every word we would have written it ourselves.

'I also think it is important to note HMI Parr's comments when being interviewed about the report by the BBC, in which he praised our Committee's governance of law enforcement.'

Ends

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