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Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Friday, 21 March 2008

Youth hostel 'closing for a year'

Haut de la Garenne
Haut de la Garenne became a youth hostel in 2004

Jersey's Youth Hostel, which is at the centre of a major police inquiry, is expected to be closed for about a year, the Youth Hostel Association says.

The hostel, at Haut de la Garenne, St Martin, was previously a children's home. It was closed after the discovery of human remains in February.

It became the island's first youth hostel in 2004 after a 2.25m revamp.

Meanwhile, the island's police chief says child abuse investigations will continue for as long as they need to.

Television series

Haut de la Garenne opened in 1867 as the Jersey Industrial School for "young people of the lower classes of society and neglected children".

In 1900, its name was changed to Jersey Home for Boys, before undergoing another name change in 1960 to Haut de la Garenne. Garenne means rabbit warren.

It closed as a children's home in 1986.

Before its refurbishment, the building also featured as a police station in the TV series Bergerac.

The Youth Hostel Association said: "YHA Jersey will be closed until at least March 2009 and the situation kept under review".

The association said anyone visiting the island who planned the use the hostel should contact Jersey Tourist Information for alternative accommodation.

Haut de la Garenne
Forensic teams have been searching the property and grounds

Meanwhile, Chief of Police Graham Power said the ongoing investigations would be as thorough as they needed to be.

In 2006, officers began covertly investigating claims of sexual and physical abuse of children dating back to the 1960s at Haute de la Garenne, following allegations by former residents.

The investigation was stepped up last month after police found the partial remains of a child's skull buried in concrete in a stairwell.

Forensic teams are still searching the house and grounds for evidence.

Jersey's government, the States, said it would continue to provide the funds needed to enable the police to do their job.


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