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New head of law enforcement is keen to work closely with Jersey

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SHARING specialists with Jersey is being considered by Guernsey Police as a way of making sure it has the resources to deal with the many challenges it faces.

The headquarters of the States of Jersey Police in St Helier. Ruari Hardy, inset, Guernsey’s new head of Law Enforcement, is keen to explore ways his team can work closely with officers there, and not just on hi-tech crime. (Picture by Peter Mourant, 23704149)

These challenges are not just in the area of hi-tech crime, but also at a community level, said new Head of Law Enforcement Ruari Hardy.

He said that recently the police service had started to put more resources into such community matters as protecting vulnerable people, dealing with mental health and safeguarding issues.

‘Over the years we’ve had to realign some of our staffing into these specialist areas,’ he said.

Other areas that require more resources are cyber-crime, economic crime and working with other agencies to ensure the island was a good place for business, he said.

‘More and more resource, and the right resource, has to be put into those areas too.’

Ongoing reform of the public sector being brought about by the States’ chief executive officer was having an impact on Law Enforcement too, but Mr Hardy said that in turn Law Enforcement was ‘looking to embrace some of these dynamics, working better with our partner agencies and working less in silos’.

He said there were efficiencies and savings to be made in the agencies working together to fill gaps between them.

Eight new police recruits are in training and due to pass out in early February, as well as nine new recruits for the Guernsey Border Agency who have started their training.

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He appreciated that Guernsey was a competitive employment market and it was a challenge to offer salaries that were commensurate with the level of responsibility and commitment needed to join Law Enforcement.

‘But it is vocational and it is about public service,’ he said.

It could be the challenge of dealing with things that perhaps other people might shy away from.

‘It’s a career with a difference. You’ve got a unique opportunity to have employment in an exciting area of work and I think that’s always a selling point.’

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While Mr Hardy was keen to enhance the skills and experience of the local staff, he said that on occasions it was necessary to bring in expertise from outside the island, but not necessarily on a long-term basis.

‘It is a fact that sometimes certain areas can be very specialist and some of the work we are looking at is if there is a particular area of specialism, maybe share that with Jersey,’ he said.

Such a person would not be dedicated solely to one island if the amount of work in that specialist area did not merit a full-time post.

As for those in the island who already had skills in specialist areas, it was important to keep skills up in areas that were not needed often and to prevent ‘skills fade’, he said.

Quite a bit of money had been invested in training economic crime investigators as well as equipment and this has meant that Law Enforcement had the resources to deal with most of the challenges that are coming along.

Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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