Police stations may be closed to put more officers on the beat

CMRU

A number of police stations may need to be closed to accommodate an increase in the number of police officers patrolling the streets, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said today.

Camilleri was winding up debate on a minor amendment to the Police Act when he made the claim. The proposed amendments, which were approved without a vote, confirm that the the Public Service Commission – and not the Independent Police Complaints Board – is empowered to hear appeals from the decisions of the disciplinary board.

He stressed that he preferred to see police officers patrolling the streets instead of stuck sitting at their desk, adding that a choice needed to be made.

“Does this mean that some police stations may need to be closed? Yes, it does,” the minister said.

However, Camilleri pointed out that the impact of the closure of a police station can be addressed through the use of technology. He noted that through an intercom system, those who find a station closed can still communicate with the police.

The minister hailed the success of a community policing project in Mellieħa, noting that the trust residents had in the police was found to have increased markedly as a result. The project is to be extended