May 08 - RGP Commissioner Yome Examines First Year in Office
One year into RGP Commissioner Eddie Yome’s tenure in office and all appears well. Crime rates have seen a reduction of 18% and Commissioner Yome’s vision of the Police service returning to its roots at the centre of the community. During a press conference held yesterday afternoon, Commissioner Yome explained that his main priority was to reorganise the way the RGP does business, he added that this meant rearranging policing resources, all with a view to establishing the Neighbourhood Policing model as a flagship policy of the organisation. He insisted that he continues to seek to deliver a professional service, with a more personal approach to community interaction.
This new approach to policing has seen more constables within the community, officers engaging with the elderly and youth and working in conjunction with youth groups and schools.
The Commissioner insisted that driving this vision has been a challenge, with many changes having to have been internally. He added, ‘ I have striven to convince our officers that they should not be performance driven by statistics. Commenting on other areas that are in need of improvement, Commissioner Yome claimed that it is evident that not everyone is satisfied with the service they receive ‘and we must work to correct this’.
Speaking on the issue of traffic flow and fluidity, the Commissioner stated that the introduction of the HEOs has proved invaluable. The force continues to pursue Operation Roadwatch and its four strands, education, awareness, enforcement and engineering.
‘Drugs’ the Commissioner added, ‘ continue to be a very big issue. It is the scourge of society, any effort that we place against the battle against drugs is not enough and we have got to do more’. The Commissioner explained that youngsters needed to be educated and influenced so that they don’t seek to experiment with drugs. He insisted that every youngster will come across drugs and it is their choice whether or not to take them. Commissioner Yome said that by educating them, and by working with the education department, the Care Agency, the Youth Service, and parents, they will hopefully make the right choice.
Policing at Sea
Commenting on policing at Sea, Commissioner Yome expressed that it had been a difficult year at sea, with the RGP and GDP working side by side to deal with the fishing incursions. The Force continues to invest in resources to police BGTW and with the delivery of vessels, the Sir Francis Richards, the Sir John Chapple and the Sir William Jackson, the marine unit has the necessary tools to police Gibraltar’s waters. Commissioner Yome mentioned that a further large vessel will be purchased next year.
Commenting on the fishing dispute, the Commissioner said, ‘ Whilst conscious that we have a duty to enforce the Nature Protection Act, with that duty comes the ability to exercise discretion, a discretion that we will review once the Fishing Impact Report is published with the legislative changes that may follow.’
He insisted that the force works extremely closely with the Royal Navy, whose role is to uphold matters of sovereignty.
The Commissioner also commented on the impact that integrating social media into the force has had, he insisted that the RGP wants to continue to talk to the community and keep them informed of issues that affect them.
With regards to the recent charging of three police officers for a series of separate offences, the Commissioner insisted that he is satisfied that there are no issues with the integrity and probity of the force’s internal investigations. ‘ Other that those that are strictly criminal matters, these are overseen by the independent Police Complaints Board, a sub-committee of the Gibraltar Police Authority.