Royal Gibraltar Police

The Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) is, along with the H.M.Customs Gibraltar, the principal civilian law enforcement agency in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It is the oldest police force in the Commonwealth of Nations outside the United Kingdom.

Royal Gibraltar Police
Badge of the Royal Gibraltar Police.
Common nameGibraltar Police
Agency overview
Formed25 June, 1830
Preceding agency
  • Gibraltar Police
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionGIB
Royal Gibraltar Police's jurisdiction (beige)
Size6.8 km²
Legal jurisdictionAs per operations jurisdiction
Governing bodyGovernment of Gibraltar
General nature
HeadquartersNew Mole House, Rosia Road
Royal appointee responsible
Agency executive
  • Ian McGrail, Commissioner
PrisonsHer Majesty's Prison, Gibraltar
Patrol carsYes
Armed response vehiclesYes
Royal Gibraltar Police

The Royal Gibraltar Police, previously the Gibraltar Police Force, was formed in 1830, only nine months after Sir Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan Police in London. It was Peel who sent one of his officers to Gibraltar to form the Gibraltar Police Force.[1]

The force was granted the "Royal" prefix by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992.

Personnel strength and deployment

The force, referred to locally as the RGP, currently numbers over 220 officers, who are divided into a number of units. These include CID, Drug Squad, Special Branch, Firearms Unit, Scene of Crime Examiners, Traffic Department, Marine Section and the Operations Division.

From its inception, up until 1999 when St. John Ambulance Brigade took over, the Gibraltar Police provided the territory's only emergency ambulance service, using officers seconded from the Operations Division. The RGP also acted as immigration officers at all entry points until the early 1990s.

The current headquarters is at New Mole House Police Station, Rosia Road. The Previous HQ used to be at 120 Irish Town. There are plans to turn this into a Police Museum. There is a sub-station at Casemates Square.


Female uniformed police officer

In general the uniformed officers of the Gibraltar force follow British police models in their dress. On foot patrol male constables and sergeants, like their counterparts in England and Wales, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Bermuda, wear the traditional headgear of the "bobby on the beat", correctly known as the "custodian helmet", which is similar to some Army helmets and was adopted by the Metropolitan Police of London in 1863 to replace the top hat formerly worn, other forces then following suit. The helmet is traditionally made of cork covered outside by felt or serge-like material that matches the tunic.

As in many police forces of England and Wales, the Brunswick star is used as the basis for the force badge, with a central device representing Gibraltar. The badge appears also as the helmet plate.[2]

RGP Marine Section

The Royal Gibraltar Police force have a marine section located in the Royal Navy Base, This facility is jointly used with the Gibraltar Defence Police Marine Section. Since 2012 there have been many new additions to the unit including jet skis and larger vessels.[3]

The role of the RGP Marine Section is to enforce the law in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and this often includes co-operation with other local and international agencies.[4] The RGP Marine Section plays a vital role in anti-drug smuggling operations for the local area.

Vessels of the Royal Gibraltar Police Marine Section: Sir William Jackson, Sir Joshua Hassan, Sir Francis Richards, Sir John Chapple

Commissioner of Police

  • 1830 H. Morgan
  • 1859 C. Armstrong
  • 1870 G.F. Stohelin
  • 1875 S. Blair
  • 1882 W.F. Cottrell
  • 1883 W. Seed
  • 1895 J.L. Bennet
  • 1911 J. Cochrane
  • 1927 W.S. Gulloch
  • 1937 D.S. Gowing
  • 1953 A.L. Abraham MVO.
  • 1960 P.G. Owen
  • 1962 L. Hannon MBE.
  • 1968 J.D.O. Bird QPM.
  • 1975 R.B. Gordon QPM.
  • 1975 R.S. Williams
     M. Rowling
  • 1984 Joseph C. Morello OBE CPM.
  • 1987 Joseph L. Canepa CPM.
  • 1997 Alan J. Castree QPM
  • 2001 Joseph Ullger QPM CPM
  • 2006 Louis Wink OBE CPM
  • 2012 Edward Yome CPM
  • 2018 Ian McGrail



See also