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
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
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
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
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.