For the first time a public opinion poll assessing the concerns of the Maltese is showing crime as the main problem facing the nation.
While in the European Union as a whole crime is the eighth most mentioned concern, cited by 12% of respondents, it is the most cited answer in Malta (45%). The Euro Barometer poll shows that crime is also high on the list of concerns in Denmark (28%) and Sweden (22%).
Concern on crime has risen dramatically from 19% in May to 45% in November. The surge could reflect the national anguish after Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination on 16 October.
The survey also comes in the wake of growing emphasis on law and order issues by both major political parties and the recent announcement of the deployment of the Armed Forces of Malta to patrol the streets in various areas.
Crime was already the second most mentioned concern in May and has now surpassed immigration as the country’s most mentioned concern.
Only 2% of the Maltese expressed concern on employment while 4% expressed concern on the economic situation. In a reflection of the positive economic situation Maltese were the least likely in Europe to express their concern on these two issues.
At 22% environment has emerged as the third most important concern of the Maltese after crime (45%) and immigration (32%). Concern on immigration has declined by a points while concern on the environment has increased by 3 points.