There is an HONORARY POLICE (French : POLICE HONORIFIQUE) force in
each of the 12 parishes of
Jersey . Members of the
Honorary Police are
elected by the voters of the parish in which they serve, and are
Honorary Police officers have, for centuries, been elected by
parishioners to assist the Connétable of the Parish to maintain law
and order. Officers are elected as Centeniers, Vingteniers or
Constable's Officers, each with various duties and responsibilities.
Until the 19th century the
Honorary Police provided the only civilian
law enforcement in Jersey. However, in the early part of the 19th
century, crime was widespread among the urban population in Saint
Helier (around 25,000 people) and paid Police officers for the Parish
Saint Helier were appointed in 1853 and their remit was later
extended to serve the whole Island as the
States of Jersey Police .
However, even today the SOJP cannot CHARGE anyone with an offence -
charges have to be brought by the
Centenier of the parish in which the
alleged offence was committed - and as such the Honorary Police
continue to have a significant role in policing.
Honorary Police officers
* 2 Ranks of the
* 3 Mission
Honorary Police Association
* 5 Comité des Chefs de Police
* 6 See also
* 7 External links
HONORARY POLICE OFFICERS
Each Parish elects a number of Centeniers, Vingteniers and
Constable's Officers who act in the name of the Connétable of the
Parish in maintaining law and order. These officers are elected for a
period of three years and take an oath in the Royal Court .
Honorary Police officers must live in the Parish at the time of
their FIRST election or, in the case of St Helier, be a ratepayer or
mandataire of that Parish. If an officer moves out of the Parish
during her/his term of office, s/he may continue her/his term of
office with the approval of Her Majesty's Attorney General and the
Connétable of the Parish and may stand for re-election provided there
is no break in service.
A person may be nominated for election as a member of the Honorary
Police if, on the day of nomination, s/he is at least 20 years of age
and less than 70 years of age.
Honorary Police officers are on duty for one week at a time, usually
every 3 or 4 weeks depending upon the roster within the Parish, and
are on call 24 hours a day during that period. Honorary Police
officers are elected to serve the Parish but in certain circumstances
may assist or operate outside the Parish.
Anyone standing for election as a member of the
Honorary Police will
have to undergo a criminal record check.
RANKS OF THE HONORARY POLICE
Bureau des Centeniers, Saint Brelade
A CENTENIER is a senior member of the
Honorary Police of
Centeniers are elected for a mandate of 3 years at a public election
within the Parish. In addition to general policing matters, the
Centenier remains the only officer entitled to charge and bail
Centenier presides at Parish Hall Enquiries and acts as
Prosecuting Officer before the Magistrate\'s Court . The Constable of
the Parish appoints one of the Centeniers as CHEF DE POLICE of the
Jersey law, anyone charged at the States of Jersey
Police Headquarters must be charged by a
Centenier of the Honorary
Police, and he too will present the charges against an individual if
the case is taken to the Magistrate.
A VINGTENIER is a member of the
Honorary Police elected by a Parish
Assembly of electors and ratepayers for a term of three years for a
particular vingtaine (or, in St. Ouen , a cueillette) in that Parish.
Vingteniers, who occupy a rank below that of
Centenier in the Honorary
Police, carry out general community policing in the parish, and
fulfill administrative roles within their vingtaine in respect of
tasks such as the
Visite du Branchage . The office of Vingtenier
(which is believed to refer to a responsibility of looking after 20
(French: vingt) households) may date back to 1331, although the first
recorded reference to the title of vingtenier dates to 1462.
The political system of
Sark , which was modelled after Jersey's in
1579, also includes a Vingtenier. In
Sark the sole Vingtenier is
elected by Chief Pleas as junior to the Constable.
CONSTABLE\'S OFFICERS are the lowest rank of the elected police
officers, collectively known as the
Honorary Police who represent a
Vingtaine in a Parish (or to a Cueillette in St Ouen) of Jersey.
Constables Officers do not have to live within that
Cueillette) but must live within the parish at the time of their
election. If they move in the interim they are allowed to complete
their term of office. They assist both the Centeniers and Vingteniers
of the Parish with general policing matters.
Honorary Police vehicle in attendance at Visite du
The tasks are very varied and can include the following: provide foot
and mobile patrols, perform speed and road checks, perform premises
licence and curfew checks, assisting in searches for Missing Persons,
assist policing major events, Centeniers perform Parish Hall Enquiries
, assist and co-operate with the
States of Jersey Police and with
Honorary Police in the policing of Island Events or
as needed or requested.
Centeniers and Vingteniers also assist their Parishes with the Visite
du Branchage twice yearly and the Visite Royale which happens once
every six years.
Duty is usually performed for a week on a rota basis. The different
Parishes differ slightly in their specific arrangements, however, all
parishes hold a monthly meeting that their Connétable must attend.
HONORARY POLICE ASSOCIATION
Centeniers, Vingteniers and Constables Officers are members of the
Honorary Police Association.
COMITé DES CHEFS DE POLICE
Livery of Saint Saviour police car
A Chef de Police is appointed in each Parish from the Centeniers of
that Parish and is responsible to the Connétable for the operational
policing of the Parish. The Chef de Police of every Parish is a member
of the Comité des Chefs de Police and it is the role of the Comité
to seek to strengthen and uphold the
Honorary Police by fostering and
maintaining the unity of its members; oversee the management of
resources made available to the Honorary Police; co-ordinate the
provision of advice and guidance to members of the Honorary Police;
promote consistency in operational practice between the Honorary
Police of each parish; and foster continued co-operation with the
States of Jersey Police Service and other agencies.
States of Jersey Police is the professional police service of