The Malta Independent 19 September 2019, Thursday

District police fleet modernised with new cars, segways

Albert Galea Thursday, 22 August 2019, 12:07 Last update: about 27 days ago

The vehicle fleet for district police will be completely modernised with 50 new vehicles being introduced into the force to the point that the oldest cars will be those which were introduced into service just last year, in what is an investment of almost €1 million.

With the new vehicles lined up outside of Parliament in Valletta, Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar announce that a further order for 24 vehicles is currently in process, with 12 of those cars already being in Malta and being prepared for active service.

Cutajar said that gone are the days when district police have to make do with old, burnt out vehicles which are passed down to them from the police’s other special branches.  Each district, he said, will have a new car.

Six segways have also been purchased for use by the police to join the two that are already in service.  Cutajar said that these segways had already produced notable results, especially when it comes to pick pocketing. These segways have a maximum speed of 20 kilometres per hours, and a range of 38 kilometres on one battery charge. 

Photos Alenka Falzon

Two will be stationed in Valletta, and one each will be stationed in Sliema, St. Julian’s, Qawra, Marsascala, Rabat, and Gozo.

He said that the investment was part of the Police corps’ seven year business plan, mentioning other recent investments such as the purchase of 15 new motorcycles and of other equipment that the force and its members are making use of.  He said that as part of this business plan, the whole fleet of almost 400 vehicles will be modernised.

He said that this investment will result in improvement of morale those in the force and make the service they provide to the people more efficient and effective, while it means that the fleet will be more environmentally friendly as a result of improved fuel consumption.

He said that it was pointless carrying out investment in advanced technology – some of which is among the most advanced technology in Europe – if a person then goes to a station and is not received and helped as he should.

The districts are being given the importance that they deserve and that they need so that they can truly be front-liners for residents and provide support to everyone, Cutajar said.

Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia meanwhile said that investment was being done in the police in areas that can be seen, as well as in those that cannot.  He said that investment was being done in human resources, especially important to keep up with population growth, increased tourism, and the country’s increasing affluence.

He noted that new methods have also been launched, mentioning a recent community policing pilot project launched in Mellieha as an example.

He also mentioned another pilot project, where district stations will have a designated hotline that persons can utilise if they go to a station and find it closed due to police being out on work duties.  This hotline will connect directly to the police control room, where they can provide the necessary help and take the respective report.

The new vehicles were blessed by the Police chaplain, Father Raymond Bonnici.

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