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Page last updated at 21:27 GMT, Monday, 3 March 2008

More items taken from Jersey home

Cellar at the Jersey former children's home
The building's cellar has become the focus of the investigation

More items have been removed from the former children's home in Jersey at the centre of an abuse investigation.

Officers said the items would be sent away for examination and it was too early to tell their significance.

A number of bones have also been found in the grounds of the home but none have so far turned out to be human.

Police are investigating the claims of about 160 people that they were abused at the Haut de la Garenne home in St Martin in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

'Wait and see'

Excavation work has been ongoing since a child's skull was unearthed under a floor in a stairwell at the home on 23 February.

The work resumed on Monday after being halted for a day to give the forensic team a break.

It also emerged that the Army has been involved in the search since last week, bringing specialist equipment that will allow police to examine some of the items they have recovered.

Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper, of Jersey Police, said: "The archaeologists have taken out a few items. It is too early yet to say what the significance of those are.

"We're going to be looking at those and sending them away for further examination. I won't speculate on what they might be at the moment. We just need to wait and see."

He added: "In respect of the grounds, we've uncovered a fair number of bones.

"We've identified the vast majority of these as being animal. There are one or two that are outstanding and we have to maybe have a closer look at them, but nothing that the anthropologist has identified as being human."

The inquiry's manpower has increased with 12 new detectives from the UK added, other technical assistance arriving and more staff for the incident room.

Shallow bath

Meanwhile, the Howard League for Penal Reform has said it will be sending a review team to Jersey at the end of March to examine issues around the treatment of children in care in Jersey.

Director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook, said: "We hope that the review team we are sending can provide positive recommendations on what Jersey should do to be more in line with UK and international standards of child protection."

The search in Haut de la Garenne has been extended to the building's cellar and grounds, and police suspect there may be four bricked-up chambers in the cellar. The first pictures of the cellar were released on Sunday.

DCO Harper has said it is possible that the skull may pre-date the period under investigation and that the person may not have died unlawfully.

Experts excavating the site uncovered a set of shackles and a shallow bath. The shackles had been found on the floor but may once have been fastened to the wall.

DCO Harper said the two items would "tend to provide corroboration for some of the allegations which we have received about offences that were committed".

Since the child's remains were found, dozens of people have come forward claiming they were abused at Haut de la Garenne. The investigation began covertly in 2006.




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The site where the police search has resumed



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