GDP officers return from Olympics
Eight Gibraltar Defence Police Officers returned from the UK this week following a successful deployment as part of the UKs biggest ever security operation.
On arrival in the UK the officers undertook training and rehearsals for a few days to ensure the actual event ran smoothly. Hundreds of police officers were drafted in from various parts of the UK and they were all accommodated together in a local caravan park in Weymouth. Each caravan housed two officers and the entire park was completely filled with police officers.
Each day followed a set routine; at 6am the mini bus took the officers to Olympic Village in Portland where they receive their daily brief. Here they were informed about current threats, the weather and what events were taking place. They were then allocated an area to patrol (which changed daily) and were on the sea for 7.30am. They then spent seven to eight hours on the sea policing the events before a second shift replaced them.
The weather was typically British with plenty of wind and rain, Christian Jeffries said: The first three to four days were beautiful, one day the sailing was cancelled because there was no wind, but the rest of the time it was like Gibraltar in winter!
Despite the demanding working patterns and poor weather conditions, morale remained high and comradeship was strong amongst everyone involved. Eliott Mor said: Everyone was really friendly, you could see the unity, the first thing they said was where are you from?, we made some very good friends and met some really interesting people including the chef for Team GB.
Adrian Mesilio said: I remember being so tired coming off an early one day that when I spotted Ben Ainslie I couldnt even be bothered to get my camera out! But it was great to work with officers from all over the UK and hear all their stories and experiences.
There were over 40 police boats used to cover an area that stretched to approximately seven miles wide and up to nine miles out to sea. Each boat had one coxin, one navy personnel and two police officers. The GDP officers were selected because of they are all highly qualified coxswains and were pleasantly surprised that their experience was so valued whilst they were there.
The officers were keen to express their thanks to the Dorset Police and Marine Unit for their outstanding hospitality.
Whilst all the officers were proud to have taken part in the event Karl Walsh summed it up when he said: Representing Gibraltar and the MOD in the UKs biggest ever security operation has been an honour.
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