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2022 Annual Report released 13 July 2023

Today the Head of Law Enforcement has published the 2022 Bailiwick Law Enforcement annual report. The report covers the work of the Guernsey Border Agency (GBA) and Guernsey Police in 2022 and in it the Chief Officer acknowledges the commitment and professionalism of staff across Law Enforcement.


Report Headlines

Borders Enforcement

The Border Agency identified 45 cannabis seizures in 2022, compared to the 141 seizures of cannabis in 2021. The sharpest rise in drug statistics during 2022 was the fivefold increase in the amount of cocaine powder imported, predominantly through the method of internal concealment. Class A drugs will continue to be the priority for Law Enforcement due to the associated harm.

The report highlights the growing trend in the importation of offensive weapons such as knives and knuckle dusters. Overall, the number of offences investigated by the GBA fell as they no longer had to enforce COVID-19 restrictions and the large volume of smaller scale postal importations of cannabis had lessened.

Front line policing

For police, the report highlights that dealing with mental health incidents continues to require significant amounts of front-line capability which is a concern and pressure on resource. More work needs to be undertaken in partnership with health professionals to ensure that those suffering mental health crisis are treated appropriately and not drawn into the criminal justice system.

Staffing numbers particularly in frontline policing were supported thanks to a number of secondments from the Civil and Nuclear Constabulary in the UK. These additional officers allowed Guernsey officers to be abstracted to undertake mandatory training which was needed following delays caused by the pandemic. Since these secondments, general staff numbers have begun to improve, thanks in part to recruitment directly from the UK, however there has still been pressure on the operational shifts due to staff numbers, which has had a detrimental impact and led to officers working extended hours. While those officers continue to step up and deliver an excellent service, the Senior Leadership Team continues to explore ways to relieve this pressure as local recruitment remains challenging.

In total, 2022 saw 3,434 Grade 1 calls and 1,313 Grade 2 calls for service to the Police.

Specialist policing

Policing's specialist teams had a productive year in 2022. It was the first full year of Operation Encompass, which allows the Public Protection Unit to share information regarding domestic abuse incidents with schools to protect and support children. The Operation saw 186 incidents recorded, with 330 children being subject of referrals. Guernsey Police also benefited from national domestic abuse training delivered by 'SafeLives', this specifically focused upon identifying and challenging coercive and controlling behaviour.

New Sexual Offences legislation was also introduced which defines consent and introduced four new criminal offences. This legislation has assisted officers in being able to address certain elements of offending and this has contributed to a marked increase in the number of sexual offences reported and prosecuted, this included increased reporting supported with robust action taken against offenders specifically within the night-time economy. It has been pleasing to see increased confidence in reporting such assaults - which has been an aim of the Police's 'Violence Against Women and Girls' strategy. We continue to encourage all members of the community to report such offences and officers will seek to secure and preserve evidence in order to bring perpetrators to justice and ensure the public feel's safe.

Other specialist areas also had a busy year: the Search Team conducted 33 missing person searches in 2022, conducted 18 area searches in relation to crime, and searched 50 premises as part of criminal investigations. The EOD team disposed of nine pieces of ordnance and one IED.

Finally, officers attended Jersey to support on Disaster Victim Identification following two major incidents in December - Operation Nectar, involving a vessel collision and Operation Spire following a large explosion in a block of flats.

Customs and Immigration

Changes arising from the Brexit decision continue to put pressure on the Customs and Excise arm of the organisation. The number of declarations requiring customs officer action nearly tripled from 2019 to 2022, and the team is now required to fulfil a number of new obligations resulting from newly introduced free trade agreements.

2022 also saw new products being added to the Import Control Order, particularly where there was a threat of disease.

Demand on the Immigration Team also remained high as applications have increased since Brexit. Non-EU work permit applications doubled from 2021 to 2022 and passport applications remained high. The team continue to work with the States of Guernsey and the UK Government on the future of passport issuance, work that is going on in conjunction with other Crown Dependencies.


Guernsey Police and the Guernsey Border Agency acknowledge the national challenges within policing and law enforcement more generally. The report highlights that issues of conduct and standards are taken very seriously locally. The Chief Officer delivered training to all staff covering a number of issues impacting upon professional standards. The organisation understands the importance of maintaining public trust and confidence as we work in partnership with key stakeholders and the community.

Head of Law Enforcement, Ruari Hardy, said:

"As we reflect on 2022 and look forwards into 2023 and beyond, it is clear that 2022 was a year of recovery and re-establishing the organisation to take on the demands and deliver services that are driven by risk, Brexit and community need. In 2022 we managed to spend wisely and remained within budget, but we understand the financial challenges that are ahead as we continue to invest in staff to ensure we can deliver the modern, fit-for-purpose service that our island community expects and deserve.

"As this report shows, law enforcement services do not remain static: services are affected by changes in law, changes in public expectation and best practice as well as managing demand. The organisation must be able to swiftly adjust and change to achieve professional best practice. I wish to acknowledge and thank all the staff across Bailiwick Law for their commitment and professionalism during 2022."

To read the full annual report and look at the statistical digest, go to: www.guernsey.police.uk/annualreports

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