The Government’s three-year plan to bolster RGP personnel will better enable the force to confront the increasing challenges of policing in the 21st Century, Commissioner of Police Ian McGrail said.
As reported in the Chronicle last week, the RGP will see the largest increase in manning levels since the frontier opened, with the addition of some 50 new officers through a combination of recruitment and the civilisation of posts currently being performed by officers.
The RGP’s current compliment of 241 officers will therefore increase to 291 officers, across all ranks.
In a statement the Government explained that policing in Gibraltar has advanced continuously over the last 30 years.
The RGP face new challenges that are increasingly specialised and technical in nature and the policing response to these challenges has had to become increasingly sophisticated.
The need to meet these growing demands, due to the volume, specialisation and complexity involved, had led to individual officers’ workloads increasing exponentially, the Government said.
But, it was evident to RGP Senior Management that before a request was made to Government for an increase in complement, it had to be satisfied that the organisation had done everything in its power to maximise its existing resources.
The RGP, therefore, embarked on a wide-ranging project aimed at generating a comprehensive business case.
The purpose of this project was to identify the additional number of officers that the force required to meet its demands and to review the roles carried out by police officers.
The review of police officers’ duties assisted the RGP in ascertaining functions which could be carried out by civilian work staff, thereby releasing more officers for operational duties.
The Government commissioned PWC to carry out an independent review of the RGP’s business case, its conclusions and proposals.
“On completion of the review, the independent assessors arrived at conclusions that were greatly similar to those that the RGP had presented in its business case,” the Government said.
In response to the conclusions of both the business case and the subsequent independent review, the Government has announced a three-year programme that will increase the RGP’s current establishment with an additional 50 officers.
Together with the RGP Command, the Government has commissioned a work stream that aims to release 24 police officers, currently engaged in support roles, into frontline policing.
Mr McGrail said: “I wish to convey my gratitude to HM Government of Gibraltar for the consideration given to our business case and the increase to our establishment, which will better enable us to confront the increasing challenges of policing in the 21st Century.”
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, stated: “This major injection of resources highlights this Government’s confidence and unwavering support of the RGP. The addition of much-needed officers is recognition of the challenges faced by our police officers each and every day.”
The Minister for Health, Care and Justice, Neil Costa, added: “It gives me great satisfaction to reflect on this hugely significant investment to increase the RGP’s complement of police officers.”
“This programme, which will spread over a period of three years, is a result of productive negotiations with the RGP. It was vital that any investment to which our Government was going to commit met the RGP’s fast evolving work profile, including complex financial crime, cyber-crime and complex fraud cases.”
“I have to thank Commissioner McGrail, Assistant Commissioner Ullger and their team for their diligent work and painstaking efforts in ensuring our police force is adequately resourced to continue their excellent work in keeping Gibraltar safe.”
Pic by Johnny Bugeja