At about 02:50 CET on Tuesday 13th June 2017, an RGP Interceptor vessel, jointly crewed with the GDP, on patrol in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters engaged in a high speed pursuit of a suspect rigid hulled inflatable boat in collaboration with local and Spanish Law Enforcement Agencies.
This is the type of vessel commonly used by Drug Traffickers to conduct their illicit activity across the Straights of Gibraltar.
As the Police vessel closed in on the RHIB, the crew heard two gunshots and withdrew to a safe distance. The incident occurred just over 2 nautical miles east off Catalan Bay.
Fortunately, none of these struck the vessel or the crew, who were not armed.
Following the receipt of credible intelligence, the RGP and other local LEA’s have for some time provided an armed capability primarily for the officers' personal protection at sea.
This incident represents a tipping point in maritime policing and the situation remains under review. The RGP will continue to patrol BGTW to combat this illicit activity whilst ensuring officers safety and the effective application of the Rule of Law.
The RGP have said it will robustly continue to work with LEA colleagues to identify the perpetrators and eradicate this threat to the public, our officers and LEA colleagues.