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Opinion & Analysis

A welcome boost to cross-border cooperation

Gibraltar’s law enforcement agencies have long cooperated with their Spanish counterparts, and yesterday’s operation, while unusual, should come as no surprise to anyone.

Too often, the challenging, dangerous but vitally-important work done by our officers in partnership with their Spanish counterparts is drowned out in the noise of political rows.

It is this close cross-border cooperation that helps keep Gibraltar safe from the threat of terrorism and the scourge of organised crime. We must never lose sight of that.

But Gibraltar has an important role to play at a regional level and yesterday’s operation is an example of that. Whenever we can, it is our duty as a law-abiding community to contribute.

This does not mean that we should play down the unfortunate, tiresome incidents in which, for whatever reason, Spanish law enforcement agencies overstep the mark.

Gibraltar’s sovereignty and jurisdiction must be respected. Unlawful incursions into British Gibraltar territorial waters, for example, can and must be challenged diplomatically.

But the bigger picture is that when it comes to law enforcement and the safety of communities in this region, we are all on the same side.

The only people who should be worried about operations such as the one yesterday are the drug traffickers and their associates.

They are fast running out of space in which to manoeuvre, and they know it.

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