Pembroke residents put forward security concerns to minister

Home Affairs minister says he will consider police station for Pembroke although "resources are limited"

Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia
Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia

Home Affairs minister Manuel Mallia said he will consider opening a police station for the Pembroke locality, in an address to residents on the security of their town at a meeting at the primary school together with mayor Dean Hili.

Mallia said calls for Pembroke's own police station were justified. "The ideal scenario would be to be in a position to deploy police everywhere," the minister said. "However, we also have to understand that we have limited resources. That being said, the opening of a police station in Pembroke is probably something which should be considered," he said, adding that having mobile police units - similar to the ones found in Paceville - were also an option.

Earlier this week, mayor Dean Hili told MaltaToday that whilst Pembroke was a relatively quiet and safe locality, its vicinity to Paceville was seeing a few cases of vandalism taking place.

In fact, one resident during the meeting mentioned the fact there were many instances where residents woke up to find their vehicles damaged in some way or another. Another said that CCTV cameras were lacking, and that "foreign students" stayed in Pembroke and were the cause of unnecessary noise at very late hours.

"Thesee are big issues which areas close to Malta's Mecca of entertainment, Paceville, suffer from a lot," Mallia said. "It is also a result of having many student flats which are not always supervised. That's one reason why the Rapid Intervention Unit was set up. Its role is so that within only a few minutes of an incident occurring, they arrive on the scene."

Mallia said he was a big believer in foot-patrol officers, and that there was need for a "culture of discipline" where police understand their responsibilities and their role in society.

On his part, Hili said that whilst there was need for more police presence in the locality, he believed that the situation was not quite as dire as it was being made out. "It is the local council's genuine opinion that, whilst more police will be welcome, there may not actually be the need for a police station," Hili said. "There is no real need for people to feel alarmed."

Hili said that the real problem was the fact that the St Julian's station was presently serving as the 'go to' place for St Julian's and Pembroke, as well as Paceville. Hili said that the newly-set-up Swieqi police station also seemed to be working under the exigence of the St Julian's police station. The mayor said that there was a clear case of work overload, and stressed that different localities should be handled in separate manners.


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