Army to help Malta police in patrols of criminal hotspots and problem areas

Authorities will boost law and order efforts next year • Marsa police station to remain open 24/7

Marsa police station will get new staff to remain open 24/7 and be upgraded with a resident inspector
Marsa police station will get new staff to remain open 24/7 and be upgraded with a resident inspector

Soldiers will be used to patrol criminal hotspots next year as government plans to boost law and order efforts.

The measure is one of several others announced this morning by Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia.

“The army will be helping the police by carrying out patrols in problematic areas such as Marsa, Birzebbuga, Paceville and St Paul’s Bay,” Farrugia said.

He was addressing a press conference in Marsa, which has witnessed rising concerns over anti-social behaviour, primarily by the large immigrant community that resides in the area.

Farrugia said the Marsa police station will be staffed better to ensure it remains open every time of the day. This is a measure that will be implemented shortly as soon as the new recruits join the force in the coming days.

Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia in Marsa
Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia in Marsa

“Next year we will also appoint a resident police inspector at the Marsa police station to ensure a high official is in place all the time,” Farrugia said.

New bylaws in Marsa will be introduced to ban the drinking of alcohol on the streets. Similar laws were introduced in Gzira and Mellieha earlier this year.

Farrugia insisted the laws and measures would apply to everyone.

He also emphasized the need for greater education and integration measures targeted at migrants.

His ministry will be dedicating EU funds to programmed that raise awareness among migrant communities of the country’s laws and customs.

“We also have to impart knowledge on workers’ rights to foreigners among us so that exploitation stops,” he said.

Farrugia acknowledged the country had given integration matters short shrift for too long. 

Asked about the Menqa area in Marsa, which came under the spotlight following the arrests carried out in the area in connection with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, Farrugia said the zone will be regenerated over the coming years.

“The removal of the Marsa power station is one aspect of the regeneration that will help change the area,” he said.