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Government considers Police and Customs merger

Government considers Police and Customs merger

Sunday 10 February 2019

Government considers Police and Customs merger


Customs and Immigration officials and the Police could become a single unit if new plans to change law enforcement in the island are approved.

The proposed changes are part of the 'One Gov' modernisation programme for Jersey’s public services, announced last March by the Government of Jersey Chief Executive, Charlie Parker.

Under proposals for the newly-created 'Justice and Home Affairs Department' (JHA), Customs and Immigration and the States of Jersey Police would together be known as 'Law and Border Enforcement', with one joint Head of Service.

The Fire and Rescue and the Ambulance Services would also combine with another joint Head of Service.

Police Headquarters

Pictured: Together Police and Customs and Immigration officials would be known as 'Law and Border Enforcement'.

The two joint Heads of Service would then report to the new Group Director for Public Protection and Law Enforcement, Kate Briden, with Police retaining an independent reporting line to Jersey Police Authority.

The proposed structure also includes a new position – Head of Business Support – which will provide administrative and business management support across the department, in a bid to ensure frontline services are used more effectively.

Government officials say the plans would create a department with "a focus on collaboration, integration, prevention and early intervention, by bringing together services which in larger jurisdictions are run separately".

Staff have until 6 March to give their views on the idea as part of a formal consultation.

computer online phone writing

Pictured: A formal consultation has been launched to enable staff to give their opinion on the proposed changes.

Director General for Justice and Home Affairs, Julian Blazeby, commented: “This is the start of our journey to modernise our services across public protection, law enforcement and emergency planning. Our key focus is to keep islanders safe and secure, and Jersey is small enough for us to bring together and integrate our emergency and public protection services, which just isn’t possible in larger jurisdictions. 

“We’re keen for our staff to be involved in shaping their department and we’ll be seeking their feedback throughout the consultation process.”

Home Affairs Minister, Constable Len Norman, added: “Jersey is fortunate to have excellent law enforcement and emergency services which are staffed by dedicated and professional public servants. This does not mean, however, that we can’t improve further by integrating our services and enhancing our collective working.

"We have already demonstrated the benefit of this approach by launching the Combined Control Room for Police, Fire and Ambulance."

lennorman.jpg

Pictured: Constable Len Norman, the Home Affairs Minister.

The Constable said that the proposed changes aimed to enhance "the delivery of our frontline services".

"That is my commitment to the public," he added." I acknowledge that this period of consultation on the new structure will create some uncertainty for a number of members of staff in the department, several of whom have given many years of service and are committed to their roles. I encourage them, and all their colleagues, to engage in the consultation and look forward to the proposals being developed and finalised over the coming weeks.”

After the consultation, a report of the feedback will be published, before the new structure is decided on, with any revisions arising from the feedback.

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Posted by Lesley Ricketts on
This is nothing to do with front line services but an attempt to allow the police to use the more wide ranging powers afforded to customs officers by simply having a customs officer with them when attending certain incidents. Another erosion of democracy in our banana republic!
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