On a per capita basis, the Malta Police Corps has 187 Police officers more than the average in European Union countries. Eurostat figures show that after Cyprus, Malta has the highest number of uniformed Police officers, with more than 500 policemen for every 100,000 population. Sources who spoke with TVM, however, said these figures have to be interpreted with great caution, as the Maltese Police Corps includes several uniformed officers who do not carry out police duties.
The Police Corps has 2,400 members. In contrast with other European bodies, the Malta Corps includes very little non-uniformed staff to carry out various ancillary duties which do not involve police work. Sources who spoke with TVM said there are a considerable number of officers who give service in the Corps, like drivers, clerks, telephone operators, mechanics, electricians and cooks, among others. They further explained that these duties, although required within the Corps, can be carried out by persons who are not police officers.
Criminologist Professor Saviour Formosa stated that the Corps has to implement a reform which will involve non-uniformed staff who perform non-police duties.
Professor Formosa stated that “in reality, certain roles should be handled by the civil service. This does not mean creating another department within the civil service, but rather, employing specialised staff in particular fields like forensics, administration, accounting, etc.”
The concept of civilianisation has started being introduced in certain sectors, and includes the engagement of a financial analyst, a legal officer, and a victim support counsellor.
Professor Formosa added that “there is a need for someone online for cyber crime or in fraud investigations. One needs a person who has specialised, or who has studied and is experienced in this field, but who has no interest in being part of a disciplined force.”
Sources close to the Corps told TVM that although the Corps is considering these specialised sectors, it has not started giving much thought on how to further reduce from non-police duties which can be carried out by non-police workers, thus dedicating more members of the Corps to Police work, both is special squads as well as in districts, and inceasing Police presence in the community.