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Crime and Safety

Gibraltar - Crime and Safety

Gibraltar has a relatively low crime rate which appeals to expats looking for a quiet life. The Gibraltar police force is large in comparison to its population and is an extended part of the British Police Force, the oldest British force outside of the UK. The police force works very closely with its UK counterparts and international investigations.

There have been some instances of petty crime in the country and visitors are advised to keep a close eye on bags, wallets and other valuables. There have been some reports of unattended cars being broken into. Street crimes and violent incidents are extremely rare though have been known. It is advised that people do not walk home alone after a night out, just to avoid the risk. Burglaries and crimes against property are also rare, though have been known to occur. Residents should ensure that their homes are properly secure and that valuables are not left in plain sight.

There is a risk of terrorist attack, as there is in many places. Visitors are asked to be vigilant when they are in public places. When crossing into Gibraltar by land, travellers are advised not to purchase any form of ticket from the ticket touts who frequently try their luck. There is no fee to enter Gibraltar and a ticket is not necessary.

If help is needed you can contact the emergency services the main number is 112. To summon an ambulance or the police you should dial 199 and the fire service is 190. The emergency services can respond fairly quickly when they are called.

The justice system is based on the UK judicial process, with only a few minor changes. There is the Magistrates' court, which has a Stipendiary or Lay Magistrate in charge. Then there is the Supreme Court, which covers criminal and civil proceedings similar to the UK's High Court. Gibraltar also has a Court of Appeal, which only sits three times each year and the presiding judges are usually brought in from the UK.

The Supreme Court has a trial by jury system, but civil cases are only heard by a judge. The Registrar of the Supreme Court is legally qualified and is also the Admiralty Marshal, dealing with the legal issues of the shipping world connected to Gibraltar.

Gibraltar has 98 qualified lawyers and 8 QCs. The Gibraltarian Attorney General is the Crown's legal advisor as well as acting as the Director of Public Prosecution.

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