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CM confirms boost to RGP manning levels

The Royal Gibraltar Police will see the largest increase in manning levels since the frontier opened, with the addition of some 50 new officers through a combination of recruitment and the civilisation of posts currently being performed by officers.

The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo confirmed the level of investment as he addressed the Annual Conference of the Gibraltar Police Federation at Grand Battery House yesterday afternoon.

A recent recruitment drive will see 25 new police constables added to the RGP’s ranks.

Additionally, 23 positions currently being performed by serving police officers will be transferred into civilian posts freeing up those officers to serve in the frontline and the addition of a further two full-time Federation conveners will also bolster RGP personnel.

This comes after the RGP put a human resources audit case to the Government in 2018 having concluded that policing demands exceeded the present complement.

“Investing in the RGP is never something that I needed to be persuaded on,” Mr Picardo told GPF members.

“It’s money well spent as far as I’m concerned,” he said underscoring the importance of investing in a “strong, robust and properly manned” police service.

Henry Bautista, Chairman of the GPF, thanked Mr Picardo telling him: “You have changed our history and we sincerely thank you for this.”

He added: “It will definitely assist us with our continually pressing policing demands.”

Present at the meeting was the President of European Confederation of Police – known as EuroCop - Angels Bosch.

She explained that she was in Gibraltar to observe the Federation’s Annual Conference and to take on board any issues it raised as matters of concern.

In this respect she said officers had flagged Brexit, current workloads and working conditions.

EuroCop is an umbrella organisation of 38 trade unions that represents 29 countries around Europe.

Ms Bosch highlighted the importance of the network nature that EuroCop provides its members.

“We have an exchange of experiences and knowledge and we can share all the problems and the experiences around Europe,” she said adding that Brexit will not have an impact on Gibraltar’s membership of EuroCop.

Highlighting the importance of cooperation amongst police forces in Europe, Ms Bosch also welcomed yesterday’s joined-up operation between Spanish law enforcement agencies and the RGP.

“It is the first time that this has happened so it is a very important thing and it means that we have going the right way,” she said.