‘Ensure legal protection for police whistleblowers’, European Council tells Malta

Malta has also been told to develop a national risk assessment strategy on serious and organised crime


The Council of the European Union has told Malta it must ensure police whistleblowers are afforded full legal protection.

The lack of such protection within the force was one of the main deficiencies Malta has been called upon to address as part of a Council implementing decision on Malta’s application of the Schengen acquis in the field of police cooperation.

The recommendations have been sent to the European Parliament and the national Parliament for follow-up action.

In addition to ensuring legal protection for whistleblowers from within the force, the European Council also called on Malta to “raise awareness among police officers on the reporting methods of unethical behaviour, for instance via the available online platform”.

A report published last November by Whistleblowing International Network and Maltese NGO called for “equal protection of soldiers, police officers, and other members of disciplinary forces on the same terms as any other civil servant”.

The issue of whistleblowing within the force does not come to the fore often, perhaps for good reason.

In February 2020, dozens of police Traffic Branch officers were arrested in an overtime abuse scandal, which led to a “witch hunt” within the force to find the whistleblower.

According to reports at the time, senior officers were instructed from “up top” for several weeks to “sit on the file” an officer blew the whistle on the fraud.

An investigation was only launched after the police whistleblower emailed then-prime minister Joseph Muscat, parliamentarians and the press complaining that despite having blown the whistle, nothing had been done.

The email was later published on social media by former opposition MP Jason Azzopardi, which had gone viral and spurred the force into action.

Last October three constables were turned in by fellow officers who filed an internal complaint after being shocked by colleagues’ lack of professional standards. All three constables were stationed at the Hamrun police station and worked the same shift.

They stand accused of abducting foreign nationals and taking them to Qormi where they were assaulted and left injured and abandoned.

Malta told to develop national organised crime risk assessment

EU leaders comprising the Council of the European Union have also told Malta to beef up its cooperation with international police efforts, with transnational criminals, in particular mafia clans, increasingly using Malta as a base or staging post.

Along such lines, the Council of the European Union called on Malta to “establish a national risk assessment strategy on serious and organised crime with contributions from all law enforcement authorities”.

Moreover, Malta should “develop a separate international police cooperation strategy with clear strategic objectives and priorities, complemented by an action plan, taking also into consideration a crime threat assessment relating to Malta”.


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Albert Beliard
Albert Beliard
8 days ago

Christ Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)

‘Invictus’ is defeated.

8 days ago

Il-pajjiżi tax-Schembgen qed jiddejqu li Malta hi dgħajfa u laxka ħafna tant li qed jispiċċaw jagħżqu fl-ilma fejn tidħol il-ġlieda kontra l-kriminalità.

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