Law Enforcement continues to face recruitment challenges, according to the President of Home affairs, who gave an update on his committee's mandate in the States' chamber yesterday (13 July).
Committee President, Deputy Rob Prow, delivered the update and answered questions from other members about the Committee’s mandate. The subject of challenges surrounding Law Enforcement was particularly prevalent.
Deputy Prow referred to the Prison and Independent Monitoring Panel annual report, which he said supports “a regime which focuses on rehabilitation”.
“Guernsey has a first-class working prison service, which provides excellent education opportunities,” he said.
Deputy Prow continued to discuss the Committee’s progress in respect of its seven-year Justice Framework, which was approved without dissent by the States’ Assembly in May.
Pictured: Deputy Prow said the island's prison was "world class".
“Justice transformation will be delivered through the action plan. The latest draft of the action plan was considered by HA earlier this week. The actions represent needs, not wants, in a modern society,” continued Deputy Prow.
“It is our absolute duty to present an ambitious plan and drive through justice transformation, however for it to have value we must be able to deliver.
“The action plan will necessarily face the work on how this category three priority will be resourced. This is the remaining hurdle that will dictate the pace at which we deliver.
“The committee has concerns that the current Government Work Plan will not meet this ambition.”
Pictured: Deputy Adrian Gabriel spent an evening shadowing a night shift with Bailiwick Law Enforcement.
Deputy Prow assured the Assembly that the Committee has continued to focus on “progressing work identified through the domestic abuse and sexual violence strategy, with particular focus on establishing a sexual assault referral centre”.
Deputy Prow advised that the Committee “ended 2021 with an under spend” of approximately £1 million.
“We anticipate a similar picture for this year; this is not good news,” he said.
“The principle reason [for the under spend] has been ongoing recruitment challenges. While this is not impacting frontline emergency services, it is not sustainable.
“It is important that we continue to invest in justice services, as well as thinking creatively about how we deliver them.”
Pictured: The Committee for Home Affairs anticipates another under spend this year, relating to recruitment challenges.
Deputy Adrian Gabriel asked a question concerning the “significant number of vacant posts”.
“I was grateful in May this year to shadow a night shift at Bailiwick Law Enforcement to witness first-hand the challenges the hardworking officers face,” he said.
“It is my understanding that a survey of Bailiwick Law Enforcement members was commissioned and a report generated for the Committee."
Deputy Gabriel asked Deputy Prow to commit to updating the Assembly in writing as to the findings of the report and what was learned “in terms of staff morale and retention of officers”.
Deputy Prow said that the Committee was yet to consider the survey.
“One has to be very careful in what we are able to disclose in such a survey particularly where the comments are taken in confidence,” he said.
“We are confident this survey will help both us and the police to understand what the recruitment and retention pressures are. Of course, I am happy to feedback what the conclusions are.”
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