Police force seeks community-centred approach in new five-year plan

In a five-year action plan, the Malta Police Force looks to have a better, community-centred approach as it looks to adapt to the changes in society

The police force wants to partner with the community in its fight against crime as part of a transformation strategy unveiled by Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa
The police force wants to partner with the community in its fight against crime as part of a transformation strategy unveiled by Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa

The Malta Police Force’s newly launched transformation strategy seeks to modernise the corps and bring it closer to society, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafá said.

Unveiling the strategy document today, Gafá said that the police force had to evolve in line with new societal trends.

“The way we live is changing, and so is the way criminals operate, therefore the police force must do its utmost to be on the ball,” Gafá said. 

The transformation strategy is based on 10 strategic objectives which cover a range of issues from police transparency to a data driven mentality on how the corps operate.

Key strategic objectives include better communication with the public, better accountability, the strengthening of anti-corruption mechanisms, data and technology-centred operations, the redirection of police officers to where they matter most, the positioning of right capabilities within the organisation, improving the quality of life of staff and the creation of a leadership and management framework.

“We need good leadership, from top down we must show that we mean it, and I must be the first one to show the intention of carrying out this strategy,” Gafá said.

The five-year strategy aims to redirect resources to where they are needed in a changed society.

The commissioner stressed the importance of communication with society, pointing out that the community’s trust in the police had to improve. 

“We cannot do anything without the community’s help. If there is something with which we calculate our success in a tangible manner, is the trust in the police force. I want the community to trust us,” Gafá said.

The shift in mentality towards a more community-centred approach has been coupled with a new mission statement – to provide a professional and trusted policing service to ensure safety and security in partnership with the community. 

An independent study with police officers showed that members wanted a reform, a modernisation process and better wages.  

“There is thirst for change within the corps,” Gafá said.

What defines the strategy from previous ones according to the commissioner is the need to enact the reform from within.

“The strategy document comes from within the police force rather than being imposed on it, therefore there is an internal will to implement it,” Gafá said. 

Speaking during a press briefing, criminologist Saviour Formosa said the aim of the strategy was that of understanding the strategic requirements for the police force to move forward. 

He said the strategy is based on a three-pronged approach which includes a review of past efforts, changes in legislation and the move towards getting EU backing.

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