Following the recent press release issued by the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce on the 14th of September 2017, the RGP have responded to some of what they claim to be inaccurate statements made by the Chamber.
"Firstly, The RGP are disappointed at the fact that the Chamber of Commerce has failed to share their members concerns with us directly and have resorted to publicly question value for money in the law enforcement budget. This is totally unprofessional and irresponsible, and should have been addressed by mutual dialogue.
The physical security measures that have recently been introduced in areas around and in Main Street are a deterrent against potential threats, and have been introduced because of persistent risk assessments of our Critical National Infrastructures and the Modus Operandi displayed by terrorists. This has been at the behest of continuous lobbying by the RGP and therefore the Chamber should relate to it in terms of welcomed security measures, instead of added costs to many local business areas.
The Chamber have further claimed that the RGP have failed to increase police presence in light of the increased threat. This is false. The RGP continue to risk assess police deployments in response to threats, and mitigate these by always maximizing safety and minimizing the risk to the public. As a result of recent
terrorist events in Europe, police officers have been re-deployed from their normal duties and increased patrols have been undertaken in areas where people congregate. This is not only in Main Street, but everywhere in Gibraltar, including our beaches for instance. There has also been an increased deployment of firearm officers and collaboration with other partners to mitigate the threat. This has always, and will continue to happen under the direction and in consultation with the Gibraltar Contingencies Committee [GCC].
Redeploying officers has its consequences and the Chamber needs to understand that by doing this, other policing demands are impacted upon. With this in mind, the Commissioner of Police and his Senior Command are cognisant of ensuring Value for Money [VfM] and assures the public that being one of the most scrutinized public bodies, VfM is at the heart of their routine business, something that both the Gibraltar Police Authority [GPA] and HMGoG are fully aware of. The Chamber’s data of the 35% increase to the RGP’s budget from 2011 to 2015 is misleading and not reported in its true context. This increase is mainly attributed to salaries. Notwithstanding this, the RGP is currently engaged with HMGoG in a Human Resource Audit, as it feels that the policing demands have exceeded the present compliment. Both the GPA and the RGP Police Federation support this.
The RGP would like to remind the Chamber that it has experienced over the past 6 weeks one of the most demanding policing periods it has ever had to prepare for. With the uplift in security, the threats of terrorism, day to day policing business and all the demands that have come with the multitude public events in the build up to National Week, the men and women of the RGP and the staff that support us, have been working extremely demanding hours and under extreme heat. It is unfortunate that their commitment and their desire to offer a professional and determined service appears to have gone unnoticed by the Chamber.
The RGP assures the general public that we will continue to work towards providing safety to the community of Gibraltar, and most importantly, are open to dialogue with those who should be working closer with us."