THE full cost of the excavations at Haut de la Garenne was revealed for the first time yesterday.
Chief Minister Frank Walker said that the work at the former children’s home alone had cost £1.5 million.
That figure includes the huge overtime bill for keeping a 24-hour guard on the perimeter cordon at the home for months, the £500-a-day cost of the cadaver sniffer dog, the scenes-of-crime experts drafted in from the UK, and the excavations itself.
Senator Walker put the total cost of the police inquiry to date at £4.5 million. It is not known as yet how much has been spent in total by other States departments, including the cost of lawyers, but the States has so far made £7.5 million available to the inquiry team. In February, Senator Walker announced that the investigating officers would get all the financial help they needed to carry out a thorough investigation.
At a press conference called yesterday to announce the suspension of police chief Graham Power, the Chief Minister said that the Council of Ministers had a right to expect that the money was spent properly.
‘I am disappointed to learn that the investigation has not been undertaken in the manner, in some respects at least, that it should have been,’ said Senator Walker. Home Affairs Minister Deputy Lewis, who was also at the press conference, said that it was right that significant sums of money should have been spent on investigations into allegations of serious crimes.
He added: ‘By no means was all that wasted. There continues to be an investigation into child abuse, and a significant proportion of money has been spent to date and more money will be spent in bringing the guilty to justice.’
Deputy Lewis said he had done his best to find out if the money was being spent wisely and whether the investigation was being conducted to the expected standards. ‘We posed many questions to the management team of the States police,’ he said.