The Malta Independent 18 June 2018, Monday

Twelve-year-old boy who was caught joy-riding challenges police

Kevin Schembri Orland Thursday, 21 January 2016, 12:09 Last update: about 3 years ago

A twelve-year-old boy who was caught joyriding on more than one occasion has challenged police, writing “ma taqbduni qatt!!!” in a Facebook post in which a photo of police cars is also uploaded.

In an ironic twist, the police involved in stopping his joyride last November are to be taken to court for allegedly causing the boy slight injury. According to the Police Officers Union, the police officers claim they did not hurt the boy, but rather that he had hit his head on the steering wheel, or somewhere in the car.

Last November, police caught the 12-year-old driving a BMW in Hamrun. TVM had reported that the boy was caught red-handed behind the wheel.

In comments to The Malta Independent, Police Officers Union President Sandro Camilleri called the situation ridiculous, stating that if the boy had been beaten when he was caught the first time, how could he have been out joyriding again just three days later.

He said the boy gave the police quite a chase, and that officers had to literally block to road in order to catch him.

Police Officers Union President Sandro Camilleri

He stressed that when the boy was originally caught, he kicked the door open hurting one of the police officers.

Mr Camilleri argued that if the officers had body cams, the officers would have been able to reveal the truth of the incident immediately; however officers need to personally buy these cameras as they are not provided by the police corps. He said that a number of officers have already bought them in order not to be falsely accused.The policemen who allegedly injured the boy told him they did not hit him, but he could have hit his head on the steering wheel.

Body cam

Mr Camilleri told this newsroom that the boy’s mother had gone on site, and did not want to take the police to court.

The Union President stressed that cases like this, where police could be falsely accused, could scare officers into holding back on the job.

He stressed that people should only be taken to court if there is sufficient proof, and not if there are doubts. This is a situation which has been noted more frequently, he said, adding that cases keep getting thrown out of court for lack of evidence.

Mr Camilleri explained that recent changes to the law mean that the boy cannot be taken to court and no action could be taken against him due to his age.

The Police Union will be backing the police officers, he said.

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