ERG Xmas message congratulates RGP

“Equality Rights Group (ERG) wishes a very happy Christmas and New Year to the Gibraltar community,“ Chairman Felix Alvarez has remarked in a Christmas statement from the Group. ‘Gibraltar has gone far in moving forward in our human rights awareness, a landscape which requires we never rest on our laurels because remedies will always be necessary to the problems of living together in society. This community, however, deserves ample recognition for what it has achieved, not chastisement. We can be proud of the overall track record on equality and acceptance that has become a reality over the past ten years, and which we must continue to build on as new realities emerge. We thank the many kind individuals who continue to support our work in different ways and without whom inspiration would fail. As indeed, we appreciate the significant work of government and political and community leaders who have contributed to progress.

“In particular, we can once more celebrate a year of overall community peace in good measure as a result of the diligence of the women and men of a loyal and efficient police force, and ERG takes this opportunity to express a much-merited thanks and congratulations to the Royal Gibraltar Police under the leadership of Commissioner Richard Ullger. All too often we take for granted and forget how our everyday safety and protection depend so vitally on police work; and, what’s more, citizens’ political and democratic rights in great measure are guaranteed and enforced by our same fellow citizens in uniform.

‘ERG specifically notes the significant internal work the RGP has put into developing its new Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Strategy; and the vital Zero Tolerance policy to hate crime that the Force has instituted. In contrast to the past and as a result of evolving community-oriented law, the police these days is pro-active in its follow-up of hate offences in the community. Homophobia while not entirely eradicated, remains at very low levels, especially when contrasted with other countries; whereas racially-aggravated crime is a more important concern. ERG will maintain a close rapport with the Commissioner to assist in whatever way we can in the interests of the community at large, but calls on citizens to report and follow up should they encounter hate crime, and not simply let it pass. Policing such indicidents can only ever be as good as the determination to report, and ERG is determined to continue working to signficiantly combat such crime.

‘Whether dealing with the demands of maintaining difficult pandemic measures, important public demonstrations on issues of community concern, or responding to the enforcement of social protections for vulnerable sectors of our community, policing a community is no easy task, especially with the tact and measured hand a democracy requires.

“Having worked for over twenty-one years to successfully establish a strong base of human rights across the width of this community, and contributed discreetly for over two decades to numerous charitable projects in Gibraltar, we have the long experience and consistent history to be cognizant of both the courage and level approach that are required to not only win trust but also to retain it consistently over time. It is ERG’s privilege, at this auspicious time of year, to therefore be able to convey our gratitude to this community for being entrusted to serve it.

“As we approach Christmas, this is the message that rings true to our mission, “ the statement ends.