Page last updated at 21:26 GMT, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 22:26 UK

Jersey home officer to step down

Lenny Harper
Lenny Harper has been with the Jersey force since 2002

The police officer leading the inquiry into alleged abuse at a former children's home in Jersey is to step down from his post.

Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper has headed the investigation since child skull fragments were found in February.

Jersey Police said Mr Harper, 56, would retire in August, whatever the progress of the Haut de la Garenne probe.

The force said Northumbria Police's Deputy Chief Constable David Warcup is to take over the post.

Mr Warcup said: "I am delighted to have been offered this post and I'm looking forward to taking up the appointment presently.

"In applying for the States of Jersey position, I've been very impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the officers and staff who work on the island, and their commitment to developing a modern and vibrant force."

Bone fragments

Mr Harper, who comes from Londonderry in Northern Ireland, started his police career in 1974.

David Warcup (Picture: Northumbria Police)
Mr Warcup is currently deputy chief constable of the Northumbria force

He served with the Metropolitan Police - including a secondment with the Royal Ulster Constabulary - and Strathclyde Police, before joining the States of Jersey Police in 2002.

Deputy Chief Constable Warcup joined the Northumbria force in 1976 and was promoted to his present rank in 2005.

On Tuesday, search teams found two milk teeth at Haut de la Garenne which police believe come from a child or children.

Bone fragments were also discovered but it is not yet known whether they are human or animal.

Officers have been searching four cellars referred to as "punishment rooms" by alleged victims.

Up to 100 people have claimed they were sexually and physically abused at Haut de la Garenne as children, dating back to the 1960s.

Police say the skull fragment found in February probably pre-dates 1940.

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