Increased armed patrols in Strait and Bay of Gibraltar
A significant increase in patrols across the Strait of Gibraltar and Bay of Gibraltar has been seen in recent weeks following a clamp down on drug trafficking in the region. Spanish naval and survelliance aircraft patrols have been frequently seen deployed within the region. Similarly armed officers have been deployed on Royal Gibraltar police and HM Customs vessels in Gibraltar as vigilance increases following arrests of drug trafficking gangs where weapons have been seized. A number of high speed martime chases have also taken place, with co-operation between regional law enforcement agencies also taking place in recent weeks. Law enforcement agencies in the region have been supported by the presence of naval and air patrols including frequent survelliance by a P3 Orion Spanish state aircraft which has been observed circling the area of the Strait whilst naval vessels have been deployed for numerous hours in and around the area of the Strait of Gibraltar between Punta Canero and Ceuta.Gibraltar's law enforcement civilian agencies, including HM Customs have been supported by the Gibraltar Defence Police who have deployed armed officers on civilian maritime patrol vessels during the past two weeks. The increased patrols are understood to be a direct response to an increased perceived risks from drug trafficking gangs operating in the region who have become more brazen and aggressive in their illicit operations. Recent major arrests in the Spanish Campo de Gibraltar region has also uncovered that the gangs are armed posing a further risk to law enforcement officers operating in the region. Spanish naval vessels maintained themselves out of BGTW during the period observed. They maintained their positions guarding Spanish coastal zones.
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