‘Always firm but fair’ – PC Stuart Anson
Guess whose motorbike has covered 55,000km without ever crossing the frontier?
Guess who served under Commissioner Joe Ullger as well as under Commissioner Richard Ullger?
Guess who is a target of abusive language almost every working day?
The answer to all three questions is PC Stuart Anson of the RGP’s Roads Policing Unit.
Stuart is a well-known figure around the town. When he’s not attending a collision, he is helping to manage the traffic around broken down vehicles, or when there has been an oil spill or a rock fall.
Sometimes he acts as an escort for an oversized load or for VIPs attending major events.
Less obviously, he is qualified as a Basic Collision Investigator and as a Firearms Officer.
Unfortunately, he is also widely-known for conducting Operation DriveSafe and, at this time of year, for inviting certain motorists to take a breath test - and this is where he is often at the receiving end of some very unpleasant comments.
“I’m pretty thick-skinned and it doesn’t affect me,’ says Stuart. ‘I’ve heard it all before – many, many times! I treat everyone the same – no matter who they are or where they are from. Most people who know me and know that I am always firm but fair.”
Perhaps oddly, the most rewarding moment of Stuart’s career came not on the roads but on a beach.
“A few years ago, while I was conducting a beach patrol on foot, I rushed over to a family whose baby was having severe breathing difficulties. I grabbed the child, turned it over so that I could massage its back and cleared its airways.”
“It was a wonderful feeling when the child started to breathe again. I had a little boy of about the same age so it was a really emotional feeling when I could see that the baby was recovering.”
Sadly, there have also been some unpleasant moments.
“On two occasions, I have had to break the news to families that a loved one has died and one of those occasions was just a few months ago.”
Originally from the Wolverhampton area, Stuart came to work on the Rock after a very enjoyable holiday here. He worked first as a mechanical and electrical engineer and then as a supermarket manager but he has since been a police officer for over 20 years.
“I still love this job. In fact, I shall soon be asking for another extension beyond the normal retirement age,” he says.
It sounds like we’ll be seeing that familiar face on our roads for a little while longer yet.
This feature was prepared by the Royal Gibraltar Police as part of a campaign to highlight the work of its officers.