In response to the Gibraltar Police Federation’s press release, Commissioner of Police Richard Ullger said:
‘There can be no doubt that, despite working increasingly closely with the new faces at the Gibraltar Police Federation (GPF), the RGP’s Command Team are disappointed with the results of the Annual Survey.
‘We note that, whilst bullying continues to be cited as a problem, there has been a fall in the number of officers who report that they have been a victim. We are pleased that the report makes mention of our Anti-Bullying Advisory Committee and its regular meetings. The RGP is also investing in its leaders through leadership courses run by Mr Rob Priddy of RMP Leadership Solutions which devote a great deal of attention to this issue and which are well received by everyone who attends them.
‘However, the most significant feature of the survey is that of the overall low morale amongst officers. We are well aware of this problem, which subsumes such matters as work-related stress, the lack of refreshment breaks, changes to officers’ rest days, poor work/life balance and high stress levels. Officers’ low morale may also impact on their views of their salaries and allowances.
‘In this respect, we fully understand the GPF’s conclusions which are worthy of repetition:
“Over the past few years, the organisation has seen the creation of numerous departments, many of them as a result of HMICFRS recommendations. While this may have sometimes been necessary, to have done so without securing extra manpower has created a serious strain on all departments, especially to frontline core policing with nearly 90% of officers stating their department was understaffed. This has led to an increase in officers having their rest days changed.
These issues have caused the blue line to be stretched paper thin and it is the only the good will and work ethic of the ranks that is stopping it from snapping altogether.”
‘As causes of their low morale, officers have understandably highlighted such factors as stretched resources, retention issues, the “whistleblowers” and the Public Inquiry.
‘In addition, whilst officers are aware that a new Police Headquarters building has been promised, they are very frustrated with the current lack of facilities at New Mole House and by the poor standard of IT infrastructure.
‘We will continue to address the many concerns of officers and we look forward to working even more closely with the new GPF.
‘In conclusion, despite the many issues raised by the Survey, we believe that the vast majority of our officers are proud to serve their community. They genuinely want to prevent crime, to pursue and bring to justice those who break the law, to keep the King’s peace and to protect, help and reassure the community.’