Anti- Bullying Concerns One Big Farce: “Ask Police Officers and Civil Servants”

Leo Olivero

Today is the first day of ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ a UK initiative generally aimed at sending clear and positive messages that bullying is neither acceptable nor inevitable in our schools and communities?

This year in Gibraltar groups like the ‘voice of young people’ together with the online charity ‘I’m against bullying Gibraltar’ are rolling out a programme throughout the week. 

I wish them luck they certainly have the support of Panorama the only local press who for many years has pioneered and reported on specific bullying incidents, conducting special investigations, raised awareness in schools, places of work and in society generally also supporting founding NGO groups like Dignity at Work (DAWN) and others!

At the start of anti-bullying week one important point must be made clear:

“Not everyone is serious about eliminating workplace bullying, in fact, far from it”.

Dignity at Work Shocked and Concerned at Reluctance to Robustly Tackle Bullying

Notable as anti-bullying week kicks-off ‘DAWN’ in a statement published today say they are shocked and seriously concerned at the recent Police and Customs and others bullying survey results, adding, “they fail to understand despite the overwhelming evidence, of the detrimental effects of this type of negative and unwanted behaviour, the reluctance or unwillingness to robustly tackle such unacceptable way of relating with each other under a supposed professional setting” (read full statement at end of this article)

Having to work with people on a daily basis may already be stressful for some, but for others dealing with oppressive bosses at the workplace might be even more frustrating and harmful to their health. The message is clear “if you think you are working for or with a tyrant or even a few of them, then you need help, mainly to understand your situation and deal with it better”.

I believe that having young people take part this week with their own initiative to raise the awareness on bullying might rub-off on some of the older sector of the community, where this type workplace behaviour has become an institutionalised nightmare for many who have to earn a living in a foul and unhealthy environment!

Recently both the Gibraltar Police Federation (GPF) and the GGCA conducted surveys of its members that garnered some horrendously disturbing results.

In the case of the GGCA survey 90% of respondents claimed they had been bullied in the workplace. The survey concentrated on mental welfare at work and revealed various concerns amongst the stated high percentage of union members who claimed they had been bullied at work, and another half also claiming they did not report cases of bullying through a total lack of faith in system, while others feared making the situation worse.

At the time the GGCA said it would engage with the Human Resources Manager, the Chief Secretary and Chief Minister to discuss the results of the survey, we have been unable to contact the GGCA to confirm any developments!

Looking at the figures from the GGCA survey report, it is obvious, something is very wrong.