Ian McGrail RGP Commissioner Makes Statement On COVID 19

Ian McGrail RGP Commissioner statement on COVID 19 follows below:

Dear fellow Gibraltarians

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you as Gibraltar battens down the

hatches in this global pandemic that is sweeping through the continent

ravaging the entire planet.

The Royal Gibraltar Police is a frontline, essential service and in keeping with

our mission of service and upholding the law to keep the community safe, we

wish to issue an appeal to the general public to abide by public health advice,

to stay indoors unless you have to go out to buy food or medicine, and to

keep social distancing at all times.

The Gibraltar Government has passed new emergency regulations which as

from midnight tonight, gives police officers extra powers to intervene when

these restrictions of movement are not being respected by individual citizens.

The last thing I want, the last thing that all front line police officers carrying out

their duties to keep the community safe want, is to have any sort of

confrontation with members of the public. We are, collectively as an

organisation and individually in our private lives, an integral part of this

community, and we have its best interests at heart at all times.

Our overriding concern is to protect you and your families and to keep you

safe at all times. We want citizens to understand that all the measures that

are being introduced by the authorities are for the benefit of the elderly

population and now with the extended social lockdown, to protect the entire

community from the effects of this dangerous virus.

 

As Gibraltar at large knows, our policing style is one which incorporates and

blends community values and keeps them at the forefront of our law

enforcement role. In the normal course of events we are a non-confrontational

force, and do not apply heavy handedness unless we absolutely have to.

However, let no one doubt that in the current public health emergency, we will

act robustly against any person who is seen to be deliberately flouting the

social lockdown that comes into effect at midnight.

I would also like to advise the public to refrain from venting their frustration at

police officers and other essential workers carrying out their crucial work in

the front line battle against the virus. We understand that these are extremely

abnormal and difficult times for everyone in the community but I trust that

common sense will prevail and that our interventions will be reduced to a

minimum.

 

Likewise I call on you not to abuse the exemptions provided in the emergency

regulations to go out shopping, exercise and walking the dog. If you must

exercise, do it on your own, if you go out to shop return home as quickly as

possible, and if you must walk the dog, do so near your house and return as

quickly as possible. Follow public health advice at all times, and remain calm.

There is no need for panic buying as food supply chains are unaffected, and

continue to operate as normal. There is no suggestion that this will change.

These are challenging times affecting Europe and the world, a global

pandemic which has not spared us from its pernicious effects. Our policing

demands have multiplied and our capacity to respond to them is under strain.

You can do your bit to help by following this advice and voluntarily obeying the

emergency restrictions.

Uphold solid family values and do not let the frustration of the situation get the

better of you within the household by behaving out of character, behaving like

you would not ordinarily do so, with your loved ones. Be advised too, that we

 

take a dim view of domestic violence and will continue to respond to it

forcefully.

I am extremely proud of the RGP and I am confident that we will step up to

the plate to fulfil our sense of duty honourably and efficiently. I would also like

to reassure you that we are out there to protect and safeguard the best

interest of the community at all times. This is after all our prime aim.

I would like to conclude by reiterating my heartfelt entreaty to the community’s

positive spirit, the best examples of which are already manifesting themselves

in balconies, on social media, and in the solidarity that flows in all directions

during these testing times. Use these weeks and perhaps months of

confinement to cement good neighbourly relations through virtual means and

bond with friends and family through the technology that we have at our

disposal.

Please engage with us further through the RGP website email on

www.police.gi, or through the phone on 200 72500. Keep safe and stay

positive. Watch out for further announcements from front line officers in the

days to come.