Friday, 14 March 2014

Homes and Schools evacuated in Town Range due to Suspect Package

Suspect Package at Town Range - 14th March 2014 - Images by Stephen Ignacio

Schools, the magistrate court, Number Six Convent Place and many homes across Town Range were this morning evacuated when a police officer found a suspect brief case directly opposite the Magistrate Court.
The area of Town Range was immediately evacuated as a precaution whilst the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Bomb Disposal team was called in to perform a controlled explosion.
For over an hour, at around 0930hrs all traffic and pedestrians were prevented from entering Town Range from the area of the Eliot’s Hotel to the former Department of Education building. Traffic diversions were immediately put in place, with police officers cordoning off all entry points into the area.
Following the controlled explosion the area was re-opened at just past an hour after the first report was received.
During this time school children from St Mary’s infant school were moved to the area of Bomb House Lane, with all proceedings at the Magistrate Court interrupted.

Traducion al Espanol – (perdonen por la traducion)
Las escuelas, juzgado, domicilios residenciales y las oficinas de Numero Six Convent Place (oficinas principales del Primer Ministro Fabian Picardo) fueron evacuadas hoy Viernes 14 de marzo a las 9 y media de la mañana, durante un ahora, después que un policía de la Royal Gibraltar Police encontrara un objeto sospechoso afuera de la entrada al juzgado.
La calle Town Range, que da a las oficinas de gobierno fuera despejada de personas, con la policía de Gibraltar poniendo controles de acceso en todas las entradas.

Una explosión controlada fue efectuada por miembros de la Royal Gibraltar Regiment antes que se diera el visto bueno y todo acceso fuera normalizado. El centro de Gibraltar fue afectado por las demoras durante cerca de un ahora mientras la operación policial se llevaba a cabo.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

What you can’t see won’t hurt? – Maybe for now

Walking down Main Street on a quiet Saturday morning it all seemed dizzyingly surreal, nothing was happening. At least that was the impression I was getting. Then it struck me. That was the impression I was getting because I was “normalising”. I was becoming one of the many thousands of others out there where the “blinkers” seem permanently on, and you base your life purely on what is in front of you, what you see now; you are not concerned about what is going on around. There is no reason to be, after all if it does not affect you why should it concern you?

This is what happens to everyone after years walking the beat, responding to emergency calls and looking out for things others do not see. This is what happens to former police officers everywhere, I thought to myself. People who are concerned daily about what happens to ensure people like me now are not concerned about things happening.

Yes, indeed, six years in the police force, after 12 years of journalism, and now I had to adapt to civilian life again. However, that quiet Saturday morning impression did not last for long. The one thing you learn from beating the streets is that not everything is quiet. Something is always happening, sometimes you find out, sometimes you look for it and find it, sometimes you find out another day, but eventually you will find out, and you will know that not everything is quiet.

The imprint of six years is like a stamp on your senses, character and being. You no longer see things as quiet, nor do you see things as being normal. A man walking down the streets, shoulders back, swagger, wider stride than normal, head up with eyes scanning everywhere is no longer a man walking down the street. You do not know him, you have never met him, you probably will never cross his path again, but your eyes scan him, observe him and take note of his actions, and suddenly your mind starts to create a profile of the person and his possible intentions.

Another man sits outside a tobacco shop. His fingers seemingly running on the spot whilst he holds a hold-all bag. He glances to the side, scans to the left, and then to the right, he looks back at the shop, stares at the empty doorway and then scans again. All whilst he sits, leg crossed over the other, in front of a shop. It could be any shop, but it is THIS shop. Hundreds of people pass before him, not one looks towards him, not one person seems too concerned on the presence of this particular man. Again, I neither know him, nor will probably cross his path again. He scans again, and again looks back at the empty shop doorway. A smile creeps upon my lips, a sigh of relief, as a man walks out of the shop with three black plastic bags, handing one over to this other particular man, who looks relieved to see this person.

Energised, now standing, without a word spoken between them they both hasten away towards the entrance of an arcade. Both clutching the black plastic bags firmly, with a couple of occasional glances over their shoulders; in the same direction but towards nowhere, but seemingly everywhere. They know everyone has seen them, and have probably noticed them depart so hastily but their faces are of relieve, they haven’t been seen, at least not by whomever they are looking to see if they had been seen by. Nah, they were not aware they had been seen by me, or concerned if they had, they were looking for a specific person and that person was not there.

It’s an everyday occurrence. It’s a quiet Saturday, and like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday’s it is just another quiet day where nothing happens.

You continue walking and you begin to think, nothing ever happens in Gibraltar they say, and you smirk to yourself, “if only they knew what does.”

It was a quiet day, nothing was happening, as two men dressed with their fluorescent vests run towards the ground floor flat of a particular estate. Nobody watching out the windows, nobody outside congregating by a door, a flat or any location. An old lady passes by and stops in her tracks as the two men continue running towards a specific location. As she sees them go past she continues her slow walk away from them, leisurely and without pause or concern.

The two men arrive at a doorway where a man stands by the door; arm outstretched towards one side of the door frame, his legs astride, his other arm swatting the air, as if trying to kill all the flies in the world. Under the shadows of the doorway, inside an unlit corridor by the doorway a woman holds a child on one arm, her body acting as a shield from the man before her. Her eyes tearful, her hair dishevelled. As she looks up and sees the two men run towards the doorway her eyes brighten up and swell in further tears as she speaks “him, him, please get him out.”

The man looks around, giving a quick glance at the two men and makes a step forward towards the woman, as he tries to hold her arm. Around the building no person peers out the window, no person stops to look, or congregate. Nothing is happening, everything is quiet today.

As the two men enter the doorway the man standing by the door jumps inside the flat, trying to grab the child from the arms of the woman, who immediately steps back placing the child inside another room. The man now turns and swings his arm towards the two men, shouting, kicking in the air towards them. As the men try to grab him he swings harder towards them, stepping back immediately on every swing until he enters another room. It is white tiled, with a fridge to one side, a cooker directly behind and… and yes.. knives directly behind him. As if knowing they are there, the man quickly grabs from behind him and grabs the handles of the knives. The two men pounce on the man, holding his arms back as he struggles with them, trying to move his wrists violently as he attempts to swing the knives around.

As the knives are dropped on the ground, the two men struggle to hold the other man, each time pushing him further away from the knives, further away from the white tiled room, where the fridge stands, further into the shadows of the corridor by the doorway.

Five minutes have passed and the man is finally pinned onto the ground by a third man. “I saw you running in and heard you call out” he says. It is not just another man, he was what I am now, a former police officer.

And as my thoughts reach this point, the memory fades back into reality. “Hey boys stop there can’t you see you nearly run into that old lady” I say as I direct myself to two young boys walking in front of me. They are my boys, and this did concern me, other than that it is a quiet Saturday again and nothing is happening.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Gibraltar v Estonia Photo book now available

International Football - Gibraltar V Estonia
72 pages, published 3/6/2014
Photo Book containg 72 pages of images from the Gibraltar V Estonia international Football match held at Victoira Stadium on the 5th March 2014. Final Result was Gibraltar 0- 2 Estonia. By Core Photography

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Just for you - Free Digital Photobook of the Gibraltar international match

International Football - Gibraltar v Faroe Islands
48 pages, published 3/2/2014
Photo book of the first international match on home soil after joining UEFA, of the Gibraltar National Football Team.Gibraltar v Farie Islands - Final Result Gibraltar 1-4 Faroe Islands