The Malta Independent 22 September 2021, Wednesday

European Funds to purchase software and hardware to combat fraud and organised crime groups

Friday, 1 February 2019, 18:56 Last update: about 4 years ago

During a press conference held at the Malta Police Force General Headquarters, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Michael Farrugia and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia gave an overview of the software and hardware, purchased by means of European funds, which is to be used by the Malta Police Force (MPF) to combat fraud and detect organised crime groups and terrorists.

The MPF was awarded the funds under the Hercule III funding programme. The software facilitates the prevention and investigation of economic crimes and will aid to detect, deter, and disrupt criminality at a local, regional and national level, including tackling travelling criminals, organised crime groups and terrorists.

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The hardware will aid to prevent and combat fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities in view of protecting the financial interests of both Malta and the European Union, particularly in cross-border operations.

Police officers will undergo training on the use and maintenance of the software and hardware.

Minister Michael Farrugia said that European funds will be used to strengthen security and fight crime. Currently, a criminality statistics report is being concluded which will give a statistical overview of the local crime rate. The minister said that he is informed that the crime rate has decreased, although population and affluence have increased.

Minister Michael Farrugia said that the software will increase the intelligence and analysis acquired by the Police Force. The system will gather information on criminal activities, which can lead to taking the necessary steps to combat economic crime. The minister said that the system will enhance the interoperability of the units within the Malta Police Force. The software intelligently cross-references data gathered from individual databases used by the different units of the Malta Police Force and external authorities. The minister continued that the system is a data-mining tool utilised by much of law enforcement across Europe.

Minister Michael Farrugia said that the hardware will help the Malta Police Force identify stolen license plates, stolen cars and ongoing crime in the streets of our country, which will help the Police to prevent and fight crime.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia said that this project by the Malta Police Force and Customs, worth €1.5 million, was made possible by means of EU funds and the assistance of the governmental agency MEUSAC. 

He explained how this programme protects the financial interests of Europe by supporting action against irregularities and fraud, which affect the European budget, as it has the principal aim of protecting the financial interest of the union such that it may strengthen the competitiveness of the EU's economy.

Aside from this, Aaron Farrugia said that the Malta Police Force benefitted from over €6 million in projects related to national security by means of another programme-the Internal Security Fund 2014-2020-which gave rise to projects such as is the Passenger Name Records system, as well as forensic, airport, and cybercrime equipment. 


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