Dependants of police officers killed in line of duty to receive pensionable emoluments

Opposition supports ‘positive amendments that recognise the work carried out by police officers’

The House of Representatives has voiced unanimous support to amendments to the law that allow dependants of police officers killed in the line of duty to receive an allowance.

Moreover, the Bill presented by Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela, also amends and updated provisions relating to the emoluments payable to police officers who are seriously injured during the course of their duties.

In the case that a police officer passes away following injuries sustained, the surviving spouse or partner of the deceased will continue to receive the emoluments until the spouse or partner remarries or contracts a union of equivalent status in accordance with the Civil Union Act or reaches pensionable age.

In the absence of an eligible spouse or partner, the child or children of the deceased will receive the compensation until they reach 18 years of age, or 23 if attending a full-time educational institution.

PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami welcomed the amendments to the law, adding that they recognised the work carried out by police officers.

Since the Malta Police Force was founded in 1814, a total of 19 police officers were killed in their line of duty: two inspectors, two sergeants and 15 constables.

One of the more recent cases was the murder of PC 949 Roger Debattista who was murdered during an armed robbery at the Bank Of Valletta branch at Ta’ Farsina, Qormi on 12 November, 2001.

The Criminal Investigation Department wing at the Police Depot and a street in Hamrun were named after him. Debattista, who had been in service for over 15 years, was also given the award for courage posthumously.

On that fatal day, four men held up the Qormi branch of Bank of Valletta and demanded the cashiers to hand over the cash. They succeeded in stealing around Lm5,000 which was subsequently retrieved by police.

Debattista was working overtime at the bank. He was shot as he tried to use his weapon to defend himself and the bank’s customers. Debattista was killed by a second shot fired by one of the robbers.