St Martin's Honorary Police
Policing Plan 2015
It is with pleasure that the Chef de Police Centenier Mo Gotel and I have worked together to produce this "Policing Plan" for the Parish of St Martin for the forthcoming year.
The relevant legislation that controlled policing on the Island by both the States of Jersey Police and Honorary Police was the Police Force (Jersey) Law 1974. However during the past two years major changes have taken place to that legislation. A new States of Jersey Police Force Law has been introduced. That provides for the administration and supervision of the States of Jersey Police Force together with the establishment of a "Jersey Police Authority". The previous 1974 law has been amended accordingly and is now the legislation that controls and supports the honorary police and their policing activities.
Other changes have taken place following the proposition, supported by the Connétables, to relinquish their policing powers. This change occurred on the 1st August 2014. Many had long argued that Connétables should take no part in policing the legislation that as States Members, they may have approved in the States Assembly. The actual exercising of those policing powers had ceased many years ago but had remained written into statute law and an option open to Connétables.
The new States of Jersey Police Force Law provides for a "Jersey Police Authority" to ensure that the States Police are efficient and effective, deliver the key aims and objectives within the resources available and that they act in accordance with any management policies. The "Police Authority" must also, after consultation with the Chief Officer, produce an Annual Policing Plan.
The new "Police Authority" however has no responsibility for the honorary police of the twelve parishes and it is the Connétable that retains responsibility for the efficient & effective policing of their Parish and to provide community policing to meet the specific needs of the parishioners. To achieve that aim each Connétable should, together with their Chef de Police, produce an "Annual Policing Plan" for their parish.
This document is therefore our "Policing Plan" for the forthcoming year as set by the Connétable. The Chef de Police shall, in so far as circumstances permit, deliver the key aims and objectives set for the effective policing of St Martin and to enhance policing services whilst continuing to supervise and manage the members, resources and the day to day policing practices in the parish. St Martin's Honorary Police are committed to work closely with the States of Jersey Police and others to deliver those promises and occurs at a time when the management of the States Police hope to implement positive steps to improve familiarity, consistency and accessibility to the community we all serve.
Michel Le Troquer Mo Gotel
Connetable Chef de Police
1. Honorary Police Patrols
The Honorary Police will continue to carry out regular patrols in the Parish of St Martin. Unlike the States Police, each Honorary Officer gives of their time freely. There is no minimum amount of hours expected from an Officer during his or her term in office. The seemingly increased pressures of life today, in particular for those with young families or others busy work schedules results in less free time available.
However it is accepted that seeing any Police Officer on patrol has a reassuring effect on some members of the community and we shall, as we have in 2014, continue to carry out a minimum of two patrols each week throughout the year, in particular at weekends when there is a greater movement of people and vehicles around the parish.
Patrolling takes many forms and our presence will be on mobile patrols in the Police vehicle or on foot patrol be it at a function, visiting a licensed establishment to ensure the Licensing Laws are being complied with or at a funeral, fete or sporting event.
2. Road Safety
Road safety remains a priority in St Martin and there have been many fatal and serious injury accidents on the roads in the parish in recent years. We have worked closely with the other agencies including the States Police, the Island Road Safety Officer and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Department in an attempt to reduce road traffic accidents and we will continue to do so in 2015. There are a number of causes for the road collisions and these will be addressed with the same vigour as we have in previous years:
- Driving over the prescribed drink limit
Honorary Officers are trained to use the breathalyser equipment and will carry out regular road checks to detect those who continue to drive over the prescribed drink/drive limit. Offenders have been detected as a result of general road checks to ensure vehicles are roadworthy, during speed checks or after observing a motorist's manner of driving whilst on a mobile patrol.
This is another major contributory factor in road collisions. Detection work will continue with the regular use of the two speed detection devices held by the St Martin's Honorary Police. This work will be complimented with the use of the recently replaced "Mr Smiley" machine, a device that indicates to drivers the speed they are travelling. Data collected from the "Mr Smiley" machine will ensure Officers then return with the speed detection equipment to those roads and lanes that have the greatest problem.
Data will continue to be shared with the States Police, Officers from Transport & Technical Services and with the Island Road Safety Officer.
It is intended that the Parish will work closely with the Minister of T&TS during 2015 regarding the existing speed limits and to recommend changes to some existing speed limits if changes are likely to improve road safety.
- Road checks
We aim to carry out at least twelve road checks during 2015. These checks will be carried out internally or with Officers from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Department and / or States of Jersey Police. Such checks ensure that vehicles are roadworthy but often lead to other offences being detected including drink-driving, unlicensed drivers or uninsured vehicles.
- Unlawful parking
Parking continues to be the one issue that results in the most complaints being received at the Public Hall. Numerous complaints are received from those reporting unlawful parking, in particular in the Gorey area. Subsequent policing of the breaches results in complaints from those who then receive Parking Notices.
New legislation was adopted during the latter part of 2015 to prevent car dealers using public roads and car parks to store and sell vehicles. The practice had put increased pressure on the parking spaces in the Gorey and St Catherines area where the issue seemed to be most prevalent. The new legislation has assisted but there are still insufficient parking spaces for the numbers of vehicles that are parked at the two areas.
The Honorary Police will continue work closely with the relevant authorities including the Ports of Jersey and Transport & Technical Services to seek further improvements. However motorists who continue to park illegally and inconsiderately in St Martin will be issued with Parking Notices.
3. Parish Hall Inquiries and prosecutions
The Parish Hall Inquiry system is admired by many other jurisdictions and is often complimented by the Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff in the Royal Court when a Centenier takes his or her Oath of Office. Many persons have remained outside the criminal court system because of the process whereby they have attended an Inquiry, been dealt with by a Centenier, be it with words of advice, a written caution or a nominal fine and then sent on their way.
Parish Hall Inquiries will continue to be held each Wednesday evening at the Public Hall whereby persons who have been reported for an offence will have the chance to discuss the matter with a Centenier. Although the process used to be less formal the introduction of the Police Procedures and Criminal Evidence (Jersey) Law 2003 and subsequent Codes of Practice (Jersey) Order 2004 means that the Inquiry is governed by a set procedure.
During 2015 the St Martin's Honorary Police will strive to ensure all those attending an Inquiry are dealt with professionally but in a manner in keeping with the very strength of the Parish Hall Inquiry system, that of listening, educating and offering advice in an attempt to ensure that it will be the first and only Inquiry a person may ever have to attend.
There will be occasions where an appearance before the Magistrate's Court or Youth Court is unavoidable. The Centeniers will continue to "formally charge" and present all such defendants before the Courts in a prompt and professional manner and will liaise with the Crown Legal Advisers whenever necessary.
4. General duties
The Honorary Police will continue to play an active part in the twice yearly Visite du Branchage with all three ranks carrying out their relevant tasks for the visit. The Centenier, together with the Roads Committee will advise the Connétable in accordance with the Loi (1914) sur la Voire, the Vingteniers will carry out their duty to serve the written orders and to enforce any administrative penalty. Constable's Officers will continue to assist with traffic control during the actual visits to ensure the safety of those on the visit and all road users.
The Vingteniers will continue to receive Parish Rates as the closing day for payment draws. A number of parishioners maintain the custom of paying their annual Rates to a Vingtenier and £12,866 was received at the special collection evening at the Public Hall in 2014.
The Honorary Police will again make the necessary enquiries to ensure all owners of dogs in the Parish have renewed their dog licence. At the end of January 2014 approximately 150 licences had not been renewed. Details of the dogs are important as they can save considerable time and money when a dog is found straying in the parish. The Centeniers will continue to make arrangements for the seizing of all stray dogs and for investigating any breaches of the Dogs (Jersey) Law that may arise.
5. Community policing
Parishioners take a great interest in the Honorary Police. Many will have served in the Honorary Police in the past but will have seen changes that they may feel takes the Officers away from the concept of friendly, community policing they believe should remain.
Changes have included the introduction of uniforms similar to those of the States Police, body protection jackets and other equipment, a marked-up parish police car similar to the States Police vehicles and Officers having to attend a formal training programme.
Honorary Police Officers have exactly the same powers in law as Officers from the States of Jersey Police and therefore must comply with The Police Procedures and Criminal Evidence (Jersey) Law 2003 and Code of Practice (Jersey) Order 2004 already referred to within this "Policing Plan". Furthermore the Connétable of each Parish has a responsibility to ensure that his or her Officers are safe, properly trained and insured. The Connétable must also ensure that each Officer is provided with the necessary equipment to carry out a policing role.
The Connétable of St Martin will however strive to work closely with the Chef de Police to promote the importance of the perceived decline in the "community" aspect of honorary policing. The change in appearance and the manner in which the Officers now have to operate has been forced upon us by legislation. However the Connétable wishes to work closely with his Officers in the forthcoming year to re-establish the close liaison that once existed between the Parish Honorary Police and the community.
St Martin Officers will continue to provide a presence at weddings, funerals, Carol services and at municipal events held in the Parish. The Honorary Police are already aware of a policing presence in 2015 for various events including Gorey Fete, various sports at the forthcoming Island Games, the Jersey Rally, Liberation 70 and the opening of the new St Martin's School. There are likely to be many more added as and when events are planned.
Working with young people is equally important and although there are no Youth Clubs in St Martin activities are held at the Methodist Centre and on the Village Green. We shall continue to support those events and pay visits as and when we can. The Maufant Youth Project is actually in the parish of St Saviour but there may be an opportunity to pay visits to the Centre with the support and consent of the Connétable of St Saviour. The Scouts, Cubs and Beavers pack that operate from the Berni Centre will make use of the Public Hall for a trial period commencing in January 2015 and we shall show a presence as and when required. Officers from St Martin's Honorary Police will continue to visit other Cub and Beaver packs where they will explain to the young people their parish policing role.
There is a wide range of training courses available to Officers. The need for training has already been highlighted in this document. Each Officer has to comply with the requirements of the legislation that gives the Officer their policing powers and authority. The Connétable and Chef de Police also have a duty to ensure that their Officers are adequately trained for the role they undertake. This is important both morally and of course to satisfy our insurers.
Other than the initial Induction Programme that each new recruit attends Officers are encouraged to undertake a wide range of other courses as well as refresher courses on disciplines such as Officer Safety, manual handling, statement taking / report writing, First Aid and Defibrillator use. During 2014 two St Martin Officers qualified as "Loggists" after successfully completing a course with the States Police. Those Officers are now available to assist and support the States Police at the scene of a major incident.
The established strength of the Honorary Police of each parish is set by legislation. The authorised strength in the Parish of St Martin is that of four Centeniers, five Vingteniers and twelve Constables Officers (total 21 Officers).
Like so many other parishes St Martin has a shortfall but we shall endeavour to find suitable candidates to fill the four vacancies that currently exist (one Vingtenier and three Constable's Officers). It is anticipated that the Vingteniers post will be filled by one of the existing CO's in the near future but the four vacancies of the full establishment would still remain.
The Connétable and Chef de Police believe it more important to have suitable candidates for the role than merely satisfying the authorised strength. It is the intention of the Chef de Police to hold an open evening to engage with those that may be interested but who would like to know more before committing themselves.
The Chef de Police has indicated his desire to increase the established strength from 21 to 23 in order that he has more Officers at his disposal. This would require a change to the Law, a not difficult task but as the law stands at present, time consuming and needing States approval as well as Royal Assent.
8. Monthly Police Meetings
The Chef de Police will continue to chair the monthly Police meeting for all Honorary Officers and attended by the Connétable. Although the meetings cover general housekeeping matters the Chef de Police will continue to invite contributions from outside agencies. Examples during 2014 included: Multiagency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), fly-tipping, Ports of Jersey land & parking and Major Incident Planning.
9. Partnerships with agencies
We shall endeavour to continue our close working relationship with outside partner agencies including the States of Jersey Police, St John Ambulance, the Harbour Officers and Ports of Jersey, Driver and Vehicles Standards Department, the Planning Department and the Emergency Planning Officer. We shall continue to work closely with and share information with parish groups including the Roads Inspectors and the Roads Committee.
10. Office facilities
The limited office space at the Public Hall for the Honorary Police to conduct Inquiries continues to remain a great cause for concern for the Chef de Police but will be reviewed during the year following the completion of the new school and returning to the Parish, from the Education Department, of the former school building.
St Martin Honorary Police achievements during 2014
Although it is important that the Honorary Police have set objectives for the forthcoming year we believe parishioners should be aware of what has been achieved during 2014.
- We achieved our aim by providing two Honorary Police patrols each week.
- An additional day-time presence has been provided as and when Officers have been available.
- A second "speed detection" device was purchased during 2014 and road checks have been undertaken with that equipment.
- A replacement "Mr Smiley" was acquired at the end of 2014. The new machine was deployed in December and is already recording data that will provide valuable information to the Honorary Police and other relevant agencies..
Road markings & yellow lines:
- Consultation and site meetings have taken place with representatives from the Ports of Jersey, the Harbour Office, Transport & Technical Services and Crown Officers regarding parking issues, boundaries and signage.
- We have worked closely with Officers from the States Parking Control Office in the monitoring of cars left on car parks for prolonged periods and dealt accordingly.
- Signs on roads & car parks that caused confusion to motorists have been replaced.
- Honorary Officers have continued to enforce the parting regulations in the parish as no other agency or department currently polices illegal parking.
- Assisted in the research and monitoring that led to new legislation being passed by the States in late 2014 that now prevents car traders using public roads and car parks to store vehicles. This has resulted in an immediate improvement of spaces available for genuine parking.
- Twelve road checks were carried out during 2014 as well as additional road checks with Officers from the States of Jersey Police, the Driver and Vehicles Standards Department and Customs.
- Enquiries were undertaken with approximately 150 dog owners who had not renewed their dog licences by the end of January 2014.
- 20 dog owners were warned to attend a Parish Hall Inquiry for failing to renew their dog licence despite the reminder warnings they had received.
Liquor Licensing visits:
- Four checks were made to each of the 20 licensed premises situated in St Martin.
- The relevant "register" showing each of those checks was prepared for the Connétable to present to the Deputy Bailiff at the December 2014 Licensing Assembly.
- Police assistance was provided to those who sought a presence at a number of events in the Parish. These have included traffic control at funerals, escort duties for the St Martin's Battle of Flowers float, the Palm Sunday procession and for the Father Christmas sleigh tour. Honorary Police Officers also assisted on traffic control at the Festival of Cycling event, the School Carol Service, Remembrance Sunday and the Sea Cadets Gun-Pull.
- Officers have visited three local Cub and Beaver packs to address the youngsters.
Visite Royale and Branchage:
- Honorary Officers attended both Branchage visits and carried out their relevant roles they have to play as already highlighted in the main "Policing Plan".
- Honorary Officers played a major part in the Visite Royale. That Visite occurs in the Parish only once every 6 years during which the Royal Court examine the parish accounts, receive a verbal report from the Chef de Police on policing activities in the Parish and then tour various locations to inspect areas of concern.
- Honorary Officers have meet formally on two occasions during the year with the Roads Committee and Roads Inspectors at the joint forum where issues to their relevant supporting roles within the parish are discussed.
- The Honorary Police were able to keep spending within their budget approved at the July 2013 Rates Assembly for operational, support and capital spending.
- A Parish Assembly approved an increase in the annual Honorary Police budget for 2014/15 at the July Rates Assembly.
- Specialised body armour has been acquired within the approved budget to ensure the safety of Honorary Officers whilst on patrol who may come into contact with violent individuals.
Outside speakers at Police meetings:
- Outside speakers attended four of the monthly Police meetings to provide a briefing and to share information on their various roles.
- ……….and yes, the long standing tradition known to many former members of the St Martin's Honorary Police, the sharing a piece of Guernsey Gauche, was carried out at the beginning of the year following the February Police meeting. Long may it continue!