In October 2007 the Royal Gibraltar Police’s former Community Safety Unit launched Operation Outreach in a bid to improve community relations with the police by providing high visibility policing. It was done on a pilot scheme basis and resulted in positive feedback from the general public. Police officers operated from a Roving Unit visiting different estates during the week. However, it was felt that a more permanent presence was required and that other agencies such as the Ministry for Housing and the Care Agency should also have a presence within neighbourhoods to support the initiative in order to deliver joint services to the community.
The concept of Neighbourhood Policing is a relatively new initiative in Gibraltar which has evolved progressively through the years under Community Policing. The main difference is that as opposed to Community Policing, Neighbourhood Policing has a more dedicated and sustained multi agency approach providing problem solving to deal with long term issues that have an effect on people’s quality of life.
To achieve this sustainability and a more direct approach to tackle everyday problems the Commissioner of Police has with the support of Government established four Multi-Agency District offices which will play a major role in the Neighbourhood Policing strategy by being easily accessible and a place where community engagement can take place to identify priorities.
NORTH DISTRICT: 25 Goole House, Glacis Estate. (Tel: 200 66469)
SOUTH DISTRICT: 13 Sandpits House, Witham’s Road. (Tel: 200 66473)
TOWN AREA & MID-HARBOUR ESTATE: Flat 5 8/12 Lower Castle Road. (Tel: 200 66471)
WESTSIDE AREA: Flat 3 Warspite House, Varyl Begg Estate (Tel: 200 66205)
The establishment of these offices have now seen officers deploying from them but precise opening times will differ from Office to Office depending on how the Neighbourhood Policing Teams are rostered. The long term impact of the establishment of these offices is yet to be measured but the presence of police officers in the neighbourhoods is a welcome move and already proving to be a success in its early days with positive comments from shop owners, residents and the tenants associations representing them.
Visit us and share your concerns. You will be welcomed by your Neighbourhood Policing officers.