'Police Force looked and felt stagnated' - new Police Commissioner

Newly-appointed Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit speaks to Illum about stagnation within Police Force, and political interference in ongoing high profile investigations

Newly-appointed Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit (Photo: Ray Attard/Mediatoday)
Newly-appointed Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit (Photo: Ray Attard/Mediatoday)

In an interview with weekly newspaper Illum, out on Sunday, newly-appointed Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit confirms that the Police Force was in a state of considerable stagnation before he stepped into office just over two weeks ago.

He attributes this to several factors, but says the main culprit for the Police Force's many shortcoming across several aspects of its duties is down to a chronic shortage of funding - both in terms of equipment and personnel.

Zammit also praises former commissioner John Rizzo's administration, but concedes that Rizzo perhaps lacked the necessary long-term vision to lead the Force out of its current predicament.

He also opines that while Rizzo had made several attempts to rectify the situation, "it might not have been enough to overcome the resistance he was facing."

Zammit also insists that reports linking him to a testimony of police brutality that took place in the 1980s are malicious misleading, and affirms that the testimony itself was never proven or verified.

The new Commissioner also lays out an ambitious vision for a Police Force that is "wholly party of society" and one that is more accessible to the public thanks to a proactive approach to media and public relations.

Zammit also discusses the John Dalli investigation - currently ongoing - and whether he has found any whiff of political interference in the way it has been carried out so far.

Read the full interview in Sunday's issue of Illum

When you were appointed Police Inspector back in the 80's, together with your brother-in-law Mario Calleja, Walter Spiteri and the rest, the Police Force was at its peak of efficiency and foresight for the future. No wonder that today you will find your job very difficult. I pity you Mr.Zammit, because you have found a Corps in a total mess, unlike the 80's when it was *creme de la creme*
Newly appointed Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit has his work cut out for him. The first thing he should do is replace all those in charge and do not let the government(which is an impossible task in Malta)dictate as how to run the police department. The Police Department is only second to our Court System which is an even bigger concern at the moment. Since there are tremendous problems in both areas of the law, the government should be starting to replace the heads of all Government and that includes the Chief Justice. It is a big shame that our courts became one of the biggest jokes in the EU. Like the past Administration all the Government Department have gotten callous and did not care because everything was taken for granted. That is the reason we almost lost Air Malta, our National Airline. Take away some of the perks and the limos away from these spoiled Government administrators and let them drive their own car or be dropped off at work so they can experience what the citizen is all about. Stop putting people on pedestals and stop treating them like Gods, because after a while some might get the idea that they are Gods. This is not something that I am making up, these are facts and if one stops and looks around and open their eyes for a minute, they can see what I am talking about. Where else do they send a limo or a van to pick up a flight crew from their place of residence before a flight? That is why Mr Davies took away the flying perks and privileges away from politicians and their families. Most people and non department heads of private companies manage to drive themselves or take the bus to work and they do just fine. Stop pampering the few and the elite and start making Government employees earn their keep. Not all employees are pampered as such, only the supposedly elite specials. Give me a break. Start from the top down this time and see how much more co-operation and how much respect people develop. All humans I know off put their pants on one leg at a time and those that do not, have other names. So Commissioner Zammit you do have a job to do and I wish you well. The Government has to stop looking down at people. The people asked for change and I think that is the change they asked for. Stop the politics and the nepotism that runs in this country. Respect those that you want to respect you. Let us stop living in the forties and fifties because those years are gone forever.
The gentleman has the insight, foresight and the guts to implement the necessary measures, on behalf of law abiding citizens, who have been short-changed for such a ling time.