Opposition calls for major reforms to restore trust in police commissioner

Shadow ministers Darren Carabott and Karol Aquilina unveiled the Nationalist Party’s plan to revamp the process of appointing Malta’s Police Commissioner, aiming to restore trust and integrity to a position marred by controversy and political interference.

The proposal outlines several steps to ensure transparency and bipartisan support. First, the Public Service Commission (PSC) would invite applications and then select the top two candidates. Their names would be submitted to the Cabinet, which would then choose the candidate.

The minister responsible for the police would then refer this candidate to the Permanent Committee on Public Appointments for evaluation.

Once the committee evaluates the candidate, a motion would be introduced in parliament. The candidate must receive support from at least two-thirds of all Chamber members to secure the appointment. If approved, the President would formally appoint the police commissioner.

The proposal also includes provisions for dismissing the police commissioner, requiring a two-thirds parliamentary vote to ensure the removal is based on proven incapacity or misconduct.

An acting police commissioner would be appointed by the President when the position is vacant. Additionally, the plan includes constitutional amendments to entrench these processes, making them difficult to change without broad consensus.

The shadow ministers emphasised that this approach mirrors the methods used for appointing other high-ranking officials, such as the President, the Chief Justice, the Ombudsman, the Auditor General, and the Deputy Auditor General. This change aims to create a system where the police commissioner has the trust of both sides of the Chamber.

Malta has seen seven police commissioners in the past 12 years, with the police corps frequently embroiled in scandals and subject to partisan political interference.

This instability has led to widespread demotivation among officers, poor working conditions, low pay, and the departure of experienced staff, the Opposition said.

The police corps’ leadership has also failed to take decisive action against politicians involved in corruption, money laundering, abuse of power, and other serious crimes, further eroding public trust.

The PN’s proposal seeks to address these issues directly by presenting this draft law for immediate parliamentary discussion. Carabott and Aquilina advocate appointing a police commissioner who can lead independently and with integrity, free from political influence.

They believe this change in the appointment process will restore the police corps’ reputation and ensure its leadership can effectively combat corruption and other serious crimes.

                           

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Andy
Andy
12 days ago

A step forward certainly although I suspect some streamlining of the proposed process will be required. More importantly, why only the CoP? Commander AFM should be the same, don’t forget that the AFM are given police powers in the conduct of their duties.

Greed
Greed
12 days ago
Reply to  Andy

And the AG as Victoria is as lazy as her CoP because they are told to be?

charles camilleri
charles camilleri
12 days ago

This is all bullshit. The only way to have a good man for the job is to have a person of integrity who allows no interference in his work from any quarters.

simon oosterman
simon oosterman
11 days ago

And how do we get that (wo)man?

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