The owner of a restaurant situated in Mistra Bay was informed by police officers on Sunday that abandoned vehicles occupying parking bays for months on end could not be towed due to a lack of space within towing compounds.
To add insult to injury, the same owner was fined twice by the same police officers for the parking of his motorcycle and for using profane language when expressing his disbelief that they were fining him and not the illegally parked vehicles.
“They told me to go round the area because they had given tickets to everyone. I did not even see one ticket,” restaurant owner Claude Camilleri told The Shift. “You would not even be able to make this up in a sci-fi movie,” he added.
The owner of Margo’s has been having ongoing disputes with caravan owners in the area for well over a decade, with loud disturbances and even property damage being some of the issues that cropped up along the way.
Camilleri has sued the authorities for their reluctance to enforce laws in the area over the last decade, with the first hearing on 1 June. He told The Shift that he asked officers to also take action and fine the other vehicles in the area which were also breaching parking laws.
When putting this to the police officers, Camilleri said he was told that the abandoned vehicles could not be towed “due to a lack of space” available. Pictures sent in by Camilleri indicate that one of the vehicles, in particular, did not even bear a valid licence on its windshield.
Camilleri told the police officer, “Are you fucking serious?” – for this, he received another contravention.
He was also fined by the authorities for parking his motorcycle perpendicularly rather than at an angle of 45 degrees. Yet according to the Highway Code, clause 239 states that “motorcycles should not be parked at an angle less than 45 degrees to the kerb”. The photos published show Camilleri parked his vehicle at a 90 degree angle.
The police’s media unit has been contacted to verify these claims. Camilleri said one of the officers had a body cam switched on and that the entire interaction was recorded.
Camilleri has repeatedly complained of losses incurred by his business due to the invasive spread of caravans in the area, limiting public access to the beach, and large groups blasting loud music through the night.
St Paul’s Bay local council were also sent a request for comment as Camilleri stated that he had attempted to contact them about towing vehicles away from the area in May of this year.
Questions were also sent to Transport Malta on whether they are planning on taking action to remove the vehicles. Responses from the local council as well as Transport Malta were not forthcoming by the time this article was published.