JOE GARCIA at the PANORAMAnewsdesk

Concern is being expressed that letters sent to the RGP on a private/personal basis have been published in the latest report by the Gibraltar Police Authority. There were twenty pages of private letters, making up one-third of the annual police report. This serious breach of confidentiality raises many pertinent questions.

The Commissioner of Police Eddie Yome and the Chairman of the GPA John Gonzalves must take the brunt of the criticisms that have been spreading since the Chronicle reported on it.

Obviously motivated by letters of appreciation for the Police, the Commissioner is responsible for handing over the letters for inclusion in the annual report, while the GPA Chairman is responsible for publishing them.

The letters, meant to be private, contained such sensitive and personal information as the names of people involved in court cases and the victims of crime - and even private messages from the Governor and the Chief Minister!

A question being fanned is how can the Police and the GPA be trusted with confidentiality? Or with other matters of equal importance?


Other serious matters also stem from this scandal. The annual report of the Gibraltar Police Authority was laid on the table at the last meeting of Parliament by the Chief Minister, which in effect means it was made public.

But given the seriousness of the incident, copies in the public domain have been collected - and PANORAMA, for example, was not sent a copy nor was it available when we requested it - which appears to be interference with public property, as once the report was made public, its property must be in the hands of those who received and were meant to receive it, as is the standard procedure with the Press.

Yesterday we sent the following question to Parliament and we are still waiting for an answer: Is it standard and/or acceptable parliamentary practice for documents which have been laid on the table, that is, made public, should subsequently be withdrawn?


Meanwhile, the Data Protection Commissioner is making inquiries.

Questioned by PANORAMA, the Regulator said: “I can confirm that the Data Protection Commissioner has started looking into the matter.

“The Data Protection Act regulates the processing of personal data, this being data which relates to living individuals who can be identified. The processing of personal data is subject to various requirements, among these, a number of legitimising conditions contained in the law. The Data Protection Commissioner will look into whether these have been met.”

Having put their foot in it, it is late in the day for the RGP to say that internal processes have been reviewed in the light of development, and also the GPA Chairman’s statement that these issues are being corrected and an amended report will issue.

The real question is this: Who should resign over this deplorable behaviour affecting private and personal matters?


<p><font color="#0000FF"><b>What do YOU think?</b></font>
<br><img border="0" src="" width="26" height="26"> <a target="_blank" href=""> Have your say on Facebook</a>