GSD says “Customs survey findings are worrying”
The GSD is concerned about the results of the survey conducted by the GGCA union amongst Customs Officers. Two thirds of Gibraltar’s customs officers reported low morale and over half said they had witnessed bullying or harassment in the department.
The poll also found many officers felt unsafe in their work and suffered stress and anxiety as a result and that most customs officers doubted that management at HM Customs would handle an investigation into a bullying complaint effectively and transparently. “These are serious and worrying findings” said justice spokesman Daniel Feetham “the Government cannot ignore it.
There has to be, for example, confidence amongst officers in the integrity of the complaints procedures and if there isn’t, we need to find out why and solutions need be put in place to restore that confidence. We would urge Government to sit down with GGCA and management to determine the root causes of the problem and consider how they can be best dealt with. It is noteworthy that the results of this survey mirror the findings of the survey carried out by the Police Federation last year and which was published in September. In that survey 80% of police officers who participated in the poll described morale in the RGP as poor or very poor. 54% said they had considered leaving the force and 45% said that they had been victims of bullying at work. The RGP and Customs are the main stay of law enforcement in Gibraltar and absolutely essential to this community. We cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend there is nothing wrong. That will just perpetuate and aggravate any problems. We need to carefully analyse why these results are being produced and deal with the causes.
The GSD will be submitting questions in parliament this session to see what is being done about this and indeed what progress has been made”.