Sunday, 10 January 2010

Politics, Police and the Police Authority

It is a sad day when a retired senior police officer (Superintendent (Rtd) Leo Olivero) writes "... while there may be a somewhat clear cut division between the policy versus the operational control of the police by the Government, in rhetoric, ..., the reality is that things are quite different... there is a growing perception amongst many that there appears to be, in certain high profile policing activities, much more than a smidgeon of political interest or involvement ... " This was said by him in an article in Panorama newspaper (08-01-2010) in which he also refers to the recent incident involving 4 Guardia Civiles. An incident about which this blogger has written much already.

The New People (07-01-2010, Montis Insignia Calpe) expressed concerns in these terms "... the Head of the Royal Gibraltar Police who ... took it upon himself to "decide" that the "Guardia Civil Officers" - who invaded Gibraltarian Territory and Waters - should not be prosecuted, performed a "function" which is not vested in the office that he holds - but in that which is held by the Attorney General of Gibraltar! ... he must have been "instructed" to act as he did - and the only "one" who has "authority" to issue such "instruction" (or has he?) is Peter Richard Caruana ... ".

One basic safeguards that protects democracy from evolving into absolute rule is the existence of a truly independent police force and prosecuting authority. The 2006 Constitution has provisions by which the RGP is within the domain of the Governor subject to the Police Authority and prosecution decisions are only to be made by Her Majesty's Attorney General for Gibraltar. The sequence of events that surrounded the recent incident referred to earlier indicates that this division of power has not worked in practice.

If the fears expressed by a senior retired RGP officer, by the New People and by this blogger are correct (and they have not been denied in any credible manner), a major failing in the practice of actual and existing constitutional safeguards will have occurred. What assurance is there against a recurrence of such an event in what could be more malicious circumstances? At present: none; surely this calls for further enquiry and a public reassurance?

What might happen in other areas in which no constitutional safeguards exist is of concern, and perhaps some awe.


  1. Perhaps we should rename Gibraltar as New Zimbabwe?

  2. This ia another example of the effects of our new Constitution. It was voted for by only about one-third of the electorate. British Nationals, who could vote to elect Mr. Caruana into Parliament were denied the vote in the Referendum. The "Vote No" campaign would have succeeded if the two "Joe's" has come out against it. The Constitution is "unBritish" and unsafe!

  3. Our police force lacks training, Its good that we have more officers on our streets but it seems that they are given a uniform and a badge and sent out to defend Gibraltar.
    Firstly - They lack communication skills, every time there are more officers are being attacked and bullied.
    Secondly- they lack training and have no idea on how to execute a proper physical arrest.
    Thirdly - sadly they dont have the slightest idea on how to defend themselves with the proper basic tecniques. this is the reason why there are more cases droped and more complaints made towards our police.
    It is time to remove the bandage from our eyes and get more professional training given to our officers,budget is allocated for this so lets use it.

    One of our local business dedicated to this service is Frontline M.V.A.why bring trainers from abroad when this can be obtained locally and just as professionally if not more so.

    We all agree, we want a safe Gibraltar,so lets invest in it,and not have normal police officers given the title of instructors.
    NO GOOD, commisioner wake up, look out for your people and Gibraltar.
    This is written by honest law abiding gibraltarian citizens.