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RGP reviews Chatham incident, voices concern about adherence to Covid-19 regulations

The Royal Gibraltar Police said it had reviewed the incident in Chatham Counterguard last Friday, assessing not just the actions of officers at the scene but also whether restaurants and customers were complying with Covid-19 regulations.

In a statement on Monday, the RGP said it held an internal debrief into the incident, which occurred after closing time while officers were being filmed for a documentary series due to air in the UK.

Two men aged 22 and 29 were arrested on suspicion of public order offences and remain on police bail without charge.

At the time, a camera crew was filming the RGP officers for a documentary called ‘Cops on the Rock’ that will air on the UK entertainment channel Dave and is being co-produced by the GBC subsidiary company Wheelhouse Media and Rare TV.

The RGP said it had considered the impact of the film crew’s presence not just on officers but on members of the public too, adding that the events had also been filmed by the RGP officers’ ‘BodyCams’.

The altercation was filmed by people in the area too and footage was widely circulated on social media over the weekend.

Many at the scene that were angry at the presence of the cameraman and what they regarded as a heavy-handed police response.

But in the statement, the Commissioner of Police, Richard Ullger, said the Covid-19 regulations and the public’s response to them was making policing difficult in such situations.

"Our job has been made more difficult because of the additional legal regulations brought about by the pandemic,” Mr Ullger said.

“We are finding that, no matter how much we try and engage with people, many of them are not willing to listen, especially when they are fuelled with alcohol.”

“Wherever possible, we will explain the Government’s Covid regulations and encourage people to comply with them.”

“Enforcement of the regulations is a last resort but one the RGP will resort to when necessary.”

“We want people to enjoy themselves and to have fun, but they must behave responsibly, familiarise themselves with the regulations and police themselves.”