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Officers Qualify for Search Team


Finding hidden explosives, memorising the chemical components of Improvised Explosive Devices and working together as a team.


Those are just some of the tasks officers from the Royal Gibraltar Police and the Gibraltar Defence Police had to do before qualifying as Licensed Search Officers (LSO) last Friday.


The week-long intensive course saw local officers taught by a specialist training team from the UK College of Policing’s Police National Search Centre.



And at the end of the LSO course, 12 RGP and 9 GDP officers successfully passed their written and practical exams, allowing them to join the Search Team.


Among those who passed the course were brother and sister Jaydan and Seleen Celecia. Jaydan, 35, works for the RGP, whilst Seleen, 24, works for the GDP.



Course Leader Chris Cole, who is a Technical Skills Trainer at the Police National Search Centre, said: “It’s a very important course, certainly in the modern police force with regards to counter terrorism, missing people and crime scene searches.


“This course gives the Licensed Search Officers that extra knowledge and understanding of search that is so vitally important in finding evidence, missing people and getting convictions.


“The officers have done brilliantly this week and their progress from day one to day five has been phenomenal.”



After qualifying as LSOs, the officers must still pass a yearly written exam and a practical search assessment – where they are expected to find and identify explosive devices and component parts in order to remain licensed.


Both RGP & GDP LSOs routinely team up for search jobs around the Rock and must be able to recognise various types of Improvised Explosive Devices and other items used by terrorists.


Some of the more recent high profile jobs for the Search Teams have included the Iranian Tanker Grace 1, the Island Games and the Royal visit last year.