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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Special Branch staffing levels (FOI)

Special Branch staffing levels (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 26 July 2017.


I seek from the States of Jersey Police (SoJP) or the Home Affairs Minister the number of Police Special Branch (SB) Officers (Detective Constable / Sergeant / Inspector) in 1997 right through to current day staffing levels to show the steady or erratic decline.

If this cannot be done showing the decline the actual number of officers in 1997 (or as close to that date as possible and that date if possible).

I believe that this can be done (even if by memory) as there are two female officers still in continuous SB post over that period (one SB HQ one SB Ports).

I ask this as I am a frequent traveller and it seems that there are only four SB Constables I see at the Ports and one Sergeant. This is seemingly less than half of the 1997 numbers yet terrorism seems to have spiralled uncontrollably.


The information requested is not held by the States of Jersey police. Information held in an officer’s memory is not considered as information held by a Scheduled Public Authority. This is supported by Article 3 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.

The request for current resource levels of Special Branch officers and comparison levels for previous years is considered exempt under article 42 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) law 2011.

Exemption(s) and articles applied:

Article 3 - Meaning of “information held by a public authority”

For the purposes of this Law, information is held by a public authority if –

(a) it is held by the authority, otherwise than on behalf of another person; or

(b) it is held by another person on behalf of the authority.

Article 42 – Law enforcement

Information is qualified exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice

(a) The prevention or detection of crime, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;

(b) The apprehension or prosecution of offender, whether in respect of offences committed in Jersey or elsewhere;

Justification for exemption

Whilst it is always in the public interest to ensure public funds are being spent effectively and efficiently, divulging police strategy, and operational deployment could be counterproductive.

The police face an ever increasing level of sophistication used by criminals and whilst some countermeasures are open and on view to the public, others are covert and need to remain so. To give actual numbers of officers deployed in some critical areas, may give those intending to cause harm to Jersey the opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the island and aid any intended action. The argument for not disclosing is considered stronger than for disclosing in this case.

Departmental resourcing within the States of Jersey Police is continually assessed. Resources are allocated taking into consideration current and perceived threats in all areas. Whilst Jersey is considered relatively safe compared to some areas, Jersey actively shares intelligence with its partner agencies in the UK, mainland Europe & beyond. There are many aspects to Counter Terrorism and a physical presence at Island entry points by both uniformed and plain clothed officers, in conjunction with Customs and Immigration officers is just one part of a coordinated process.

The States of Jersey Police has to balance limited resources against risk for every area of policing that encompasses the protection of the Island, its people and its infrastructure. This resource balance is reviewed continually.

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