An amended version of the Gibraltar Police Authority’s [GPA] latest annual report was tabled in Parliament yesterday, replacing an earlier version that had to be withdrawn because it contained sensitive personal details about identifiable individuals.
The personal information was contained in the Royal Gibraltar Police’s latest annual report, which formed part of the GPA document and including extracts of private letters of appreciation to the police.
The messages appear to have been published without the consent of the correspondents.
While mostly innocuous, they contained in some cases highly delicate information including details and names of people involved in criminal proceedings before Gibraltar’s courts.
The RGP document had been approved by police bosses, passed and cleared by the GPA, and subsequently laid in Parliament by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo last month.
But it was only after the Chronicle alerted authorities to the sensitive nature of its contents and published an article at the end of January that steps were taken to protect the identities of those referred to in the document.
In Parliament yesterday, Mr Picardo tabled an amended version of the GPA report and, while offering no explanation openly to the House, said MPs had been briefed on the need to replace the first version of the document.
A Gibraltar Government spokesman later told the Chronicle: “The report tabled no longer contains references which might have enabled the identification of protected defendants and complainants in criminal proceedings.”
“Those references appear to have been allowed to feature in the version of the report originally filed in the section on favourable comments received by the Royal Gibraltar Police.”
When the Chronicle first reported on the original GPA document after it was laid in Parliament last month, the RGP said it had taken steps to remove the material in question and avoid a repetition in future reports.
“Having reviewed our processes in its compilation, we are now aware of the editorial sensitivities and future submissions will takes these sensitivities into account,” a spokesman said at the time.
The GPA also acknowledged “a number of editing issues” at the time and said its report would be amended.