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Police recruits pass out, with a difference

Due to the pandemic, the Passing Out ceremony of police recruits was unlike that of any similar event in recent years.

Recruit police officers from the RGP and GDP marked the end of their of their 18-week training course at New Mole House Police Station on Friday in quite a different way to the traditional Passing Out Parade.

Due to social distancing regulations, the ceremony was held remotely with most officers and staff attending the event online.

This meant that it was not possible for the recruits’ families and friends to join them at the IPA Club to celebrate afterwards.

A total of 15 RGP officers and four GDP officers completed the course, which will prepare them for life as a shift officer.

During the ceremony, GDP recruit officer Gary Robinson was awarded “Best Academic,” while the RGP’s Zoë Fidock received the “Best Recruit” award.

Both officers will receive engraved batons at a later date.

The RGP’s Commissioner of Police, Richard Ullger, who congratulated the new officers and the training staff on an online video call, said: “The last thing I expected was to be doing a passing out parade to this classroom from behind a screen.”

“But these are the times we are living in. COVID 19 has had such an impact on society and the world and Gibraltar is no different.”

“I wish to congratulate the recruits on their hard work during what has undoubtedly been a very difficult period of time for them.”

“But I also really want to congratulate the training staff for delivering such a fantastic school under such extreme circumstances.”

“No one has had to do this in the past and we’ve really had to adapt to these changes.”

“I’ve been very impressed with the delivery of the course by the trainers and it’s a credit to them that we are here today to see the recruits pass out because of all the hard work to get them here.”

Mr Ullger added that every officer is expected to have the RGP’s code of ethics at the heart of everything they do.

He added: “I also want to stress the importance of ensuring that victims of crime are not forgotten during the course of investigations and the judicial process.”

“Our new RGP officers will help deliver a safer Gibraltar through excellence in policing.”

Inspector Picton, from the Training Department, said: “I want to thank the recruit officers for their hard work and commitment to serving the public of Gibraltar.”

The GDP’s Chief of Police Rob Allen, who also addressed the school remotely, said: “Well done all of you.”

“It’s a superb course and it’s given you a really solid foundation to build on so thank you to everyone involved in that.”

Mr Allen also told officers that one of the key attributes of being a police officer was integrity.

He added: “If you keep your integrity, everything will go right for you. Integrity is what you do while no one is watching, that’s what defines your integrity.”

The 19 new officers will now join their more senior colleagues on shift where they will spend the next two years on probation.