The law (Police Act, 2006), emphasises that the Commissioner of the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) should be efficient, effective, have integrity (probity) and be independent.

The retirement of Police Commissioner Ian McGrail, followed closely by the appointment of Police Commissioner Richard Ullger, on a temporary basis, both raise more questions than answers, which could go to the ability of the RGP, objectively, to be within these required qualities.

Those attributes and standing are required by the provision that allows the Police Authority, established by the 2006 Constitution to ensure independence from the Governor and Ministers, to seek the retirement of an officeholder, after consultation with the Governor and the Chief Minister.


The notice of the Police Authority seeking that former Commissioner McGrail retire, when issued, could only have been based on a view that he had failed to act within one or more of those listed qualities. The Police Authority must have consulted the Governor (at that time acting) and the Chief Minister, as the Act requires, before issuing that notice.

That notice was withdrawn, strangely, without explanation to date, signalling that Commissioner McGrail had maintained, and not breached those legal standards, yet he went on to retire voluntarily. Accordingly, he continues with an unblemished professional character.

Despite his call for an independent inquiry into the circumstances of his retirement, that inquiry has not started (see earlier blog of 20th September 2021).

Continued at link.