Det Supt Mick Gradwell, who left the Island yesterday when his contract ended, told the JEP that there was no justification for the police excavating at Haut de la Garenne as part of the abuse inquiry.
Mr Gradwell said that there had been no hard evidence or intelligence indicating that such a search should take place.
Until that decision was made, the inquiry, led by his predecessor, deputy police chief Lenny Harper, had been run more along UK policy lines, he said.
Mr Gradwell said that once the excavation was begun, things started to go wrong and he was left with a ‘poorly managed mess’ to sort out.
• See Saturday’s JEP for full story.