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Armed officers offer personal protection at sea

Armed officers have been deployed on Gibraltarian law enforcement patrol boats amid concerns that drug traffickers might resort to violence when intercepted.
The Royal Gibraltar Police has deployed at least one armed officer on each of its vessels, while armed officers of the Gibraltar Defence Police have patrolled on board HM Customs boats alongside Customs officers.
The personal protection measure, which highlights the close cooperation between the various agencies operating in British Gibraltar territorial waters, is seen as temporary and is being kept under close review.
It comes against the backdrop of several violent incidents in the Campo de Gibraltar in which Spanish law enforcement officers have been targeted by organised crime gangs operating in the Strait of Gibraltar.
There have also been increased threats of violence from drug traffickers against officers at sea.
In an interview with the Chronicle, RGP Superintendent Ian McGrail said the move was a purely defensive strategy in case weapons were drawn on officers, something which has not happened to date.
The message, according to Mr McGrail, is: “Don’t bring a gun out against Gibraltar law enforcement agencies because we will be able to protect ourselves.”

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