ALTHOUGH the award was announced some time ago, The Royal Gibraltar Police marched up Main Street on the morning of September 26 to receive Gibraltar’s highest civic honour, the Freedom of the City.
Commissioner Eddie Yome led the Freedom Parade after a ceremony at Casemates, which featured rows of uniformed police officers and music by the Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment. Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said the Royal Gibraltar Police inspire great pride in the community and he referred to them as guardians of the independent and impartial application and enforcement of the law.
Picardo revealed that Prime Minister David Cameron had asked him to convey his personal congratulations on the award following their impromptu meeting in London last week. A spokesperson for the police described it as a great day and a great honour.
The ceremony followed the unveiling of a plaque in the lobby of the Gibraltar Parliament and a multi-denominational religious service to commemorate the granting of the Freedom of the City the previous day.
The Royal Gibraltar Police, previously the Gibraltar Police Force, is the oldest police force in the Commonwealth, founded in 1830 only nine months after Sir Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan Police in London, and because of its important strategic position, the airport, military bases and smuggling, the force employs far more police officers than the size of the population would normally warrant.