Police association demands privacy safeguards

MPA says any information on criminal acts should be taken to the law, not to media outlets

The Malta Police Association has condemned reports in the media on allegations against police officers, which they claim “are intended at tarnishing these members’ integrity.”

The MPA was referring to a data protection commission’s report that fined the Commissioner of Police €500 for the leak of an internal file on police inspector Elton Taliana, which MaltaToday submitted in court in March 2015 as evidence in its defence in a defamation suit by Taliana.

The IDPC implied that the leak took place under former police commissioner Peter Paul Zammit, who resigned in July 2014, but it did not seek the comment of either Zammit or Saviour Balzan, MaltaToday managing editor – who both denied that Zammit was the source of the leak.

The Taliana files include details on the investigations carried out by the police into allegations of firearms importation and an arson on Saviour Balzan’s front door.

The MPA said that any information on criminal acts should be handed over to the police “instead of making allegations and speculations that go nowhere… this places police officers in a game of political football,” the MPA said.

It called on the home affairs minister and the Commissioner of Police to implement effective controls to safeguard police officers’ personal data.