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Curtly Richards has 289 articles published.

Police Insight

in Features

To raise awareness for the Feed A Family campaign, under the St George’s Charity, on Friday 19th November the RGP faced one of their toughest challenges yet – a training with Jojo Ruby France.

Devils Press, tyre flipping and hitting with hammers, weighted wall balls, and more.

Just to feel some discomfort which is a fraction of the discomfort that many families in Spain face not being able to get enough food. 

€250 feeds a family of 4 for a month.

To donate, go to

Refresher Training

​The Royal Gibraltar Police’s Search Team and Police Support Unit were recently put through their paces during three days of intense refresher training. 

Search Officers must pass a yearly written exam and a practical search – where they have to find hidden explosive devices – in order to remain licensed. 

Together with the Gibraltar Defence Police Search Advisors, they studied methods of attack, how to recognise various types of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other items used by terrorists.

Meanwhile, the Police Support Unit were busy doing public order training – ahead of Gibraltar’s upcoming international football matches. 

PSU officers are trained to deal with a variety of public order situations over and above those faced by uniformed police officers.

Armed Forces

in Armed Forces

Gibraltar Defence Police currently has over ten working dogs which are based at its headquarters in Devil’s Tower Camp.

This includes three breeds of dogs – German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, who all work as general-purpose dogs and a Springer Spaniel, known as sniffer dogs, who can find illegal drugs, quantities of cash, explosives, and digital media storage devices, such as hard drives and SIM cards.

Six years ago, the kennels had a major renovation where heated floors were installed for those cold winter months and air conditioning for those warm summer days. A one-way glass window also installed to allow the dogs to have some privacy. There is a hatch that leads to a larger outside area so the dogs can go out and stretch their paws.

As well as changes to the inside kennels, the outside compound now consists of a separate exercise area featuring grass and play equipment such as tunnels and an agility ramp to help stimulate the dogs and encourage play. At the back of the establishment there is a shower room, a medical room and of course, the room that holds their tasty food.

A former GDP Officer, Melvyn Brier, created a memorial area where he handcrafted a plaque for those Police Dogs who dedicated their working lives to the force.

Chief of Police Rob Allen said, “Police dogs are a valuable asset to operational policing and a well-loved part of the Gibraltar Defence Police family, as well as the general public. Members of the public can rest assured that our four-legged constables are well-looked after in five star accommodation.”

By the age of 7, the dogs are usually ready to hang up their K-9 badges and enjoy spending the rest of their days relaxing. The dogs will either retire locally or they will be sent back to the UK to be rehomed. This December, PD Anja will be retiring and moving in with PC Sodi.

Happy retirement Anja!

RFA Fort Victoria

RFA Fort Victoria arrived at HMNB Gibraltar for a scheduled logistics visit.

Providing vital support to the wider fleet by acting as a stores ship and a fleet tanker, Fort Victoria is fitted with four central replenishment rigs enabling her to replenish two warships simultaneously with fuel and stores – with another refuelling rig at her rear.

Having a large flight-deck, hangar and maintenance facilities for helicopters, Fort Victoria also has embarked specialists with a variety of roles in the monitoring, surveillance and preparation for a response to any life threatening incident at sea.

GDP Officer Adrian Sodi

A Gibraltar Defence Police Sergeant was surprised when he was called into the GDP Headquarters to receive a commendation.

Police Sergeant 44 Adrian Sodi is one of the GDP’s Police Search Advisors (PolSA), a role which he carries out in addition to his normal duties as one the Force’s operational duty sergeants.

There are currently only three trained PolSA officers within the GDP. This specialised role, coordinating and directing searches, involves PS Sodi leading a team of licensed search officers to conduct searches in advance of events throughout Gibraltar, including visiting vessels and ceremonial events. In addition, he has worked with the Royal Gibraltar Police, assisting in the conduct of significant crime scene searches.

He has been commended by the Chief of Police, Rob Allen for “His overall dedication and professionalism in leading and coordinating search operations on behalf of the force over a protracted period of significantly increased operational activity including the inaugural visit of HMS Prince of Wales to Gibraltar”.

On receiving his commendation, Sergeant Sodi commented, “I’m grateful to receive this recognition but I have to say that each and every one of these searches is a team effort, so I see this as recognition for the team as well as myself.”

While presenting the commendation, Mr Allen said, “This is a well-deserved recognition for an officer who has repeatedly gone above and beyond to deliver for this force in many roles, but in this case specifically in leading and conducting searches to an extremely high standard.”

Business Insight

in Business Insight

Tax Residency App Launch

A new tax residency app called Ovrnite has been launched in Gibraltar to help residents comply with their fiscal obligations arising under the recently passed Tax Treaty with Spain.

Under the new rules, Gibraltar tax residents have to ensure that they comply with the requirements for establishing Gibraltar tax residency, i.e. being present in Gibraltar for 183 days per year.

A spokesperson for Ovrnite commented, “keeping an accurate track of where you spend your days and nights is an extremely important aspect of establishing or maintaining tax residency in Gibraltar and/or avoid tax residency in Spain – this is a common feature of tax residency rules in most jurisdictions.  The cross-border lifestyle led by many people that call Gibraltar home, means that we have to be careful to comply with these rules – particularly as “a day” constitutes any time spent in a country – not just a full day.  Ovrnite assists Gibraltar tax residents by automatically keeping track of days and nights spent in Gibraltar, Spain and elsewhere”.

Ovrnite also contains a “Schengen Area Tracker” which assists British citizens to keep track of time spent within the Schengen Area.  Under current rules, this is capped to 90 days in every 180 days inside the Schengen Area.

The app is available for download in the App Store for iOS devices, and on Google Play.

Meeting With Foreign Secretary

The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo QC MP met with the Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Liz Truss MP during a recent trip to London. He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia CMG MP and the Attorney General Michael Llamas QC CMG.

The meeting with the Foreign Secretary was positive and it provided an opportunity to review a number of questions including the ongoing negotiations with the EU for a treaty on the future relationship of Gibraltar.

The Chief Minister had been due to meet the Foreign Secretary during the last Conservative Party conference, which he was then unable to attend after testing positive for COVID-19.

Mr Picardo and Dr Garcia arrived in London for a series of meetings and contacts dealing with the UK/EU negotiations.

The Chief Minister said of the visit, “It was great to have a chance to meet in person with Foreign Secretary Truss. We have worked very well together in her time as President of the Board of Trade and have spoken already since she took over from Dominic Raab at the FCDO. Today was a chance to meet face to face and progress our work together on the important issue of the positive, ongoing UK/EU negotiation.”



In a meeting held by the Cross Frontier Group, María del Mar Sanchez took on the Presidency, Julian Risso the Vice Presidency and Manuel Triano the role of Secretary.

The Presidency and Spanish spokesperson lies with the Confederacion de Empresarios de Cadiz, represented by Maria del Mar Sanchez. The Vice- Presidency and Gibraltar spokesperson has been assigned to the GGCA, represented by Julian Risso, whilst Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), represented by Manuel Triano, assumes the role of Secretary.

Additionally, the organisations that compose the Cross Frontier Group accepted the application of the La Linea business organisation, AADELL, to join the group as a full member.

The organisations that make up the Cross Frontier Group shared their concern about the negotiations of the post-Brexit Agreement.

The trade union and business organisations were unanimous in expressing their concern regarding the progress in respect of Gibraltar. They appealed to all the parties involved to lay a framework that meets the needs, aspirations and concerns of the citizens and businesses in the whole area.

As such, iIt was agreed that a letter would be drafted and addressed to all the parties in the negotiation process, namely the European Union, the British Government, the Government of Spain and the HM Government of Gibraltar.

Community Insight

in Community Insight

GFRS Gearing back

Like most organisations, the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Service’s training schedule, has been slowly returning to some form of normality, after being seriously disrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

As soon as restrictions allowed, personnel were engaged in both local and overseas training events, resulting in a busy schedule of late.

Incident Command Course – ICL3

Station Officers Jason Mesilio and Adrian McComb completed the Advanced Tactical Incident Command course (ICL 3) at the Fire Service College (FSC) in Moreton-In-Marsh, Gloucestershire. The course provides delegates with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding, to perform advanced tactical incident commander duties when managing larger and more serious incidents.

Tactical Ventilation Instructor Course

Also at The Fire Service College, Sub/Officer Jared Olivero and Leading Fire Fighter Martin Posso, together with colleagues from the Airport Fire and Rescue Service, attended Tactical Ventilation Instructor’s Course,

This course encapsulated “modern” firefighting techniques, whereby fires and products of combustion are mechanically and/or naturally managed, in order to create less arduous environments for fire fighters and survivable conditions for trapped occupants.

HM Naval Base Exercise – HMS Dragon

Closer to home, personnel took part in an exercise on board HMS Dragon. Simulating a fire on board the vessel, GFRS personnel, assisted by the vessel’s crew, conducted “search and rescue” and firefighting operations. This provided an excellent opportunity to test various aspects of our response, including JESIP interoperability principles.

A Time To Remember

A wreath was laid to commemorate the armistice and to honour The Fallen. Station Officer Jason Mesilio, proudly represented the GFRS at both events.

The Minister with responsibility for Fire and Rescue Services, the Hon Samantha Sacramento, also added “Training enables firefighters to learn new skills and techniques in order to make their jobs safer. Training days such as these keep firefighters active and engaged in this important field of work. It serves so many purposes that it is imperative for all firefighters to undertake as many courses and training events as possible to strengthen the capabilities of our Fire Service.”

Ultimate Goal

The Minister for Sport, the Hon Steven Linares met with local female footballer Shania Robba who is taking part in The Ultimate Goal Season 2, currently showing on BT Sports 1.

The Ultimate Goal, now in its second season, is a football academy programme in search for the next female football star, featuring 26 players recruited from around the globe. The academy is run by former and present superstars of football with the participants receiving masterclasses, guidance and mentorship assisting them in their football careers. The final stage of the competition is an 11- a-side football match against top class opposition in front of dozens of scouts from all around the world.

Each week the programme follows the life of one of the competitors, with Shania who is currently in the last 16 of the competition featuring in an episode filmed in Gibraltar.

Minister Linares said, “I wish to publicly congratulate Shania for her great achievement and joining so many Gibraltarian sportsmen and women in placing Gibraltar on the world stage of sports. Her hard work, determination and the many hours of training since a very young age is reflected in her success. I wish her all the best in the programme and in all her sporting endeavours.”

School Visits To HMS Dragon

Having just appeared on the big screen in the latest James Bond adventure, HMS Dragon provided the perfect venue for what turned out to be an action-packed adventure for Gibraltarian schoolchildren.

They had opportunities to find out more about the wide range of roles and equipment on board and to get hands-on with some very special activities.

From sitting in the Captain’s chair to working on their firefighting skills using hoses, the children were fascinated by all that they saw. They even used binoculars to try and spot their school from on board!

Vicky Stephens, St Christopher’s Early Years Foundation Stage Leader said, “It was brilliant to be able to provide an insight into the world in which some of their parents work.”

Sonia Lopez, headteacher from St Bernard’s added, “I can’t thank the crew of HMS Dragon enough for the simply phenomenal tour given to our children today. The children had an amazing time which I am sure they will hold dear in their memories for many, many years to come. The teachers who attended said it was the best educational visit they had ever been on.”

Horoscope November

in Features

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

If you’ve been feeling a bit confused recently, Aries, I think it’s safe to say there’s a lot of it around. It is important to stay centred and deal with only one thing at a time. This will help the fog to clear. 

TAURUS Apr 21 – May 21) 

You may find yourself dealing with unexpected expenses or even debts this month, Taurus. Don’t panic… just take a deep breath and allow any fears to subside. It’ll all be fine when you look at in a new light. 

GEMINI (May 22 – Jun 22) 

A long overdue visit to someone special is going to present itself, Gemini, so make sure you don’t leave it to long to say yes!  Sharing time and hugs with those we love is more important now than ever.   Its good for us in every way possible. 

CANCER (Jun 23 – Jul 22)

You seem to have been dealing with quite a lot of turmoil around you, Cancer, but the good news is that it is definitely passing. There have been times when you have been feeling completely overloaded but you are a strong and wiry wee crab and you are almost there. 

LEO (Jul 23 – Aug 23) 

A younger person will be looking to you for guidance and support this month, Leo. You may, however, need to be super sensitive as they may not know quite how to ask. Be gentle… it will be appreciated.

VIRGO (Aug 24 – Sep 23)

Frustrations may mount in certain areas of your life this month, Virgo and may cause you some anxiety in the process.  Breathe through them as is simply your monkey mind trying to mess with your head!  

LIBRA (Sep 24 – Oct 23) 

Inner strength will be called for this month, Libra, and this will be a great reminder to you as to just how powerful you are. In fact, once you realise this, you will feel wrapped in a sense of calm and certainty. Hold onto this as it is very special.  

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 22) 

Watch your words this month, Scorpio, or you may unwittingly upset someone. People are generally feeling a little sensitive these days and some, in particular, more sensitive than others!!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23 – Dec 21) 

Upset tummies and strange aches and pains may well be giving you grief at this time, Sagittarius.  If they persist then take some time to identify which areas of your life are causing your stress.  You’ll find that taking steps to relieve the stress will make a big difference. 

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 20) 

Mixed emotions can cause mixed communications, Capricorn, and no matter how mush you try to explain yourself to someone it just won’t work!   So don’t even try… Instead send loving thoughts and kind words and let the Universe take care of the details.  

 AQUARIUS (Jan 21 – Feb 19) 

A niggling health worry is better to be looked into than looked over, Aquarius. In the unlikely event that it is serious then all the better to find out quickly. Then you are free to follow through on all your other plans and projects with an easy mind. 

PISCES (Feb 20 – Mar 20) 

Helping friends in need is a very satisfying thing to do, Pisces. And something you do so well.  Remember, also that ‘helping’ takes many forms and no one form is better than any other. Each time we help, in any way, we are paying the energy forward and everybody wins.

Adopt don’t Shop

in Animals & Pets

Please consider adopting one of these babies. They have been waiting a long time for a forever home.

The Road to Recognition for Gibraltar Nurses

in Book Review

Dr. Margaret Williams Book Launch

At the official launch of her book ‘The Road to Recognition: Nurse Education in Gibraltar 1816-2006’ at the Garrison Library in October hosted by the Hon. Dr. John Cortes MP, former Gibraltar Health Authority Nurse Tutor Dr. Margaret Williams told Insight that the book took twelve years to compile. “I had to go to England for cancer treatment and didn’t take any material with me,” she says. “I also had a couple of strokes so it took quite a long time to research. I obtained some of the information in the Garrison Library as well as in the archives and I was also fortunate to have been given or loaned documentation by some ex-Matrons.”

Dr. Williams has a long history of involvement in nursing, nurse education, nurse management research, curriculum design and validation processes. She was appointed to the GHA in March 1999 as Education Development Officer to work in conjunction with Sheffield and North Trent College of Nursing and Midwifery to design a pre-registration nurse training programme that could be validated at the level of Diploma of Nursing and she has also recently been appointed as a Research Associate at the University of Gibraltar.

The book tracks the history of nurse education in Gibraltar from 1816 when St. Bernard’s Hospital was built. “It has taken over 205 years to actually gain the recognition for nurse training in Gibraltar,” Dr. Williams explains.

“I was employed as an Education Development Officer to write a programme that could be validated at Diploma level with a British university because up until then there hadn’t been any recognition of Gibraltar training.”

“In 2005 I was asked to answer a couple of questions that had been sent from Britain in relation to nurse training and when I started looking back through the history I was absolutely fascinated,” she says, going on to state that although the book is mainly about nurse education it is intertwined along with social history and education and it covers a lot of different aspects of life in Gibraltar.

According to Dr. Williams, one of the major changes in nurse training today is that nurses have become research based. “That came with the introduction of the Diploma in nursing in 2000,” she says. “I was then moved across to post-registration training because unless you have educated nurses in the wards, supporting learner nurses is no good – so an awful lot of development went on with the nurses already in employment.”

Asked if Gibraltar now has the same standard of nurse training as in the UK, Dr. Williams stated that it is getting that way. “When we gained accreditation from the UK we were actually linked with Sheffield University but they were absorbed into the Northern Region and they lost their validating power,” she says.  Gibraltar then sent out invitations for other universities to accredit nurse training so the registered nurses who come out of training now are at degree level.

The book, available at the Gibraltar Heritage Trust and at the Garrison Library, has been meticulously researched by Dr. Margaret Williams and would make a great Christmas present for those commencing their nurse training, for nurses and practitioners in the medical profession or, as Dr. Williams says, for ordinary people from Gibraltar that are interested in its social history.

Armed Forces

in Armed Forces


Members of the Royal Navy currently serving in Gibraltar gathered in the Trafalgar Cemetery to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar.

The service was attended by Commander British Forces, Commodore Steve Dainton, His Excellency the Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Joseph Garcia.

The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, was a naval engagement between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies during the War of the Third Coalition.

Commander Hawkins, Royal Navy, and Commanding Officer Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron Lowe placed wreaths on the graves of those who died as a result of the Battle.

Hundreds of people gathered in Casemates Square to watch the Ceremony of The Keys.

Hundreds of people gathered in Casemates Square to watch the Ceremony of The Keys.

The Commander of British Forces Gibraltar, Commodore Steve Dainton, His Excellency the Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel and Chief of Staff, Col Robert Lindsay were all present for the event.

The ceremony, which now takes place twice a year, is a reminder that each evening during the Great Siege the Fortress was locked and platoons were posted outside the walls on the North Front of the Rock to act as sentries.

The crowd was also entertained with music from the Royal Gibraltar Band & Corps of Drums and the visiting Nottinghamshire Band of The Royal Engineers.

Police Insight

in Features

Restart a Heart

A number of RGP officers and support staff donned their favourite football shirts to raise awareness and funds for the Gibraltar Cardiac Association’s Restart A Heart Day.

The idea behind the event is to help raise awareness of CPR and

In addition, £35 was raised for the charity through donations from those wearing the shirts.

Multi-Agency Safety

Three RGP officers have been learning the ropes during a multi-agency safety at sea course this week.

PCs Jotham Olivero, Mark Penalver and Kasmira Kingsley have now taken their first step to joining the RGP’s Marine Section, by completing the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping course at Gibraltar University.

They joined colleagues from the Department of the Environment and HM Customs.

Business Insight

in Business Insight

Gibraltar Insurance Conference

Minister Isola gave the welcome address at an insurance conference held in Gibraltar Finance’s offices early this month, called “The future of road transport; an insurance perspective”.

The conference was co-hosted by Gibraltar Finance, the Gibraltar Insurance Association and UK law firm Weightmans LLP and attended by around 100 insurance professionals.

The keynote speaker was Edmondo Orlotti, a director at Hewlett Packard Enterprises based in Milan, who spoke about artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles and their impact on motor insurance. London barrister, James Todd QC, presented on how the introduction of autonomous vehicles will start to impact motor insurance liability claims – and who will be liable.

Albert Isola MP, Gibraltar’s Minister for Digital and Financial Services noted, “We have seen how the introduction of new technology within the motor industry in recent years has started to transform both motor vehicles and the driving experience with a range of safety features such as automatic emergency braking and stability controls systems being implemented. The development of autonomous vehicles is well advanced but we were told today that it will probably be at least ten years before their mass adoption. This is a topic of great interest and importance to Gibraltar’s motor insurance sector and we welcomed the opportunity to co-host today’s conference.

“The conference also covered e-mobility and the rapid increase in the number of e-Scooters worldwide. HM Government of Gibraltar published a Command Paper on e-Scooters in 2020. New legislation is expected shortly to provide a legal framework to ensure this new method of transport, which is well suited to a small country like Gibraltar, develops as safely as possible for all road users.”

Elaine Chapman, Partner at Weightmans LLP and Conference Chair added, “It was a privilege and a pleasure to co-host the event today in conjunction with Gibraltar Finance and the Gibraltar Insurance Association. We look forward to working with insurers and others in relation to the issues and challenges discussed today, and helping them through what will be the biggest revolution in motor insurance in many years.”


HMGoG will reportedly continue to raise the passport stamping of blue Gibraltar Civilian Registration Card holders at the Frontier. It has already made clear in public that it is not satisfied with the situation and that it would like to see a resolution of this matter.

The default position on Gibraltar’s departure from the European Union and the end of the transition was the stamping of all UK passports, in line with the requirements of the Schengen Border Code. This means the stamping of all passports both on the way in, and again on the way out. This is in order to keep count of the 90 in 180 day visa-free entitlement period in Schengen for UK passport holders.

As part of the measures in place while a new treaty on the future relationship of Gibraltar with the EU is concluded, Spain unilaterally volunteered that they would not stamp the passports of those who hold a red Gibraltar identity card or a blue Gibraltar Civilian Registration card.

However, following new procedures governing the entry of EU nationals into the United Kingdom itself, the passports of the holders of blue civilian registration cards started to be stamped at the border on entry to and exit from Schengen. Given what the default position actually is, it is clear that this limits what the United Kingdom or Gibraltar can actually do.

The stamping of all UK passports in and out of the Schengen Area would also be the default position in the event of no agreement on the future relationship of Gibraltar with the EU.

In other words, what is happening now to blue civilian registration card holders will happen to all Gibraltar residents and Gibraltarians, regardless of status and colour of ID or Civilian Registration Cards.

 World Travel Market

Gibraltar exhibited at the World Travel Market (WTM) that took place in London between the 1st and 3rd of November.

WTM is the leading global conference for the international travel industry and is an excellent opportunity for tourism representatives to meet and conduct business.

Gibraltar had a stand which showcased the Rock’s tourism product and was also used to springboard meetings with industry executives during the event. The stand was managed by Tracey Poggio of the London Office.

Speaking before the event, Minister for Tourism, the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP said, “I look forward to attending WTM. Our presence at this conference highlights the importance the Government gives to Tourism. I have a list of people who want to meet with me and discuss business possibilities, this shows the interest that exists in our jurisdiction.

We have had a good summer with overnight visitors from the U.K. and I want this to be the norm. I want our hotels to be full every summer. We will continue working with the airlines to increase capacity and hopefully look at new routes. As we come out of the pandemic, Gibraltar has to be proactive in selling the destination. This industry is extremely competitive. It needs to be continuously reminded of Gibraltar and what we have to offer, more so in the U.K.”

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