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Minister Observes RGP Firearms Training

Gibraltar’s Minister for Justice was invited to observe the Royal Gibraltar Police’s Firearms Officers in action during a training exercise this morning. 

Nigel Feetham, who is also the minister for Trade and Industry, had asked to attend the Initial Firearms Course in order to see first-hand how armed officers help to keep the Rock safe. 

During the scenario, the Minister watched from a safe distance as the officers, who were armed with paint-marking rounds, searched a building for an armed terrorist. 

The officers, who are all training to become Armed Response Vehicle Officers, are currently on week 10 of the 12 week course. 

RGP Firearms Officers are all trained to the UK College of Policing standards. 

At the end of the training exercise, a firearms instructor also showed Mr Feetham the weapons used by RGP officers. 

Commissioner of Police Richard Ullger, said: “The public may not know this, but armed policing is a voluntary role within the RGP, even though there are immense risks within this field. So I’m very grateful that these officers have put their names forward for this Initial Firearms Course in order to help keep Gibraltar safe. 

“Not only are our firearms officers always training, they are also operationally deployed on armed patrols, reacting to incidents involving firearms and other lethal weapons or dealing with the day to day aspect of unarmed policing. Funding to maintain this capability and the training that goes with it is expensive – but we’ve got to be ready for any threat, be it an armed criminal or a terrorist attack.” 

Minister Feetham added: “After watching these officers this morning, I can only thank them for volunteering for such a high-risk policing role in Gibraltar. I was impressed by how vigorous and varied the training is here on the Rock and it’s reassuring to know that these officers are on standby should we need them. The public might not always see our armed officers, but they are patrolling Gibraltar 24/7 and I know most people would agree that they play a vital role in keeping the public safe.”