The Malta Independent 22 January 2021, Friday

New police Code of Ethics addresses all GRECO recommendations, ‘now we need to stick to them’

Thursday, 26 November 2020, 17:34 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Malta Police Force (MPF) has released its second edition of its Code of Ethics which is reflective of the way the force has addressed all the recommendations that the GRECO evaluation put forward through various policies. 

“Now we need to stick to them,” said Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa said during his address. 

The second edition of the MPF’s Code of Ethics stands to regulate the relationship between the police, the community and individuals’ citizens, the relationship between the police, the judiciary and defence counsel, the relationship between member of the police and the rights of the police themselves. 

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The Code strives to determine the ethical standards of the professional activity of the police and develop a police culture and professional values, based on the principles of humanity and consideration of human rights in countering crime. 

It also seeks to affirm the principles of policing based on the community policing model and facilitate the process of police training, aimed at achieving professional ethical behaviour in police work. 

The values on which this Code of Ethics is built on are accountability, fairness, honesty, integrity, leadership, objectivity, openness, respect and selflessness.

Gafa explained that the police force has enhanced its commitment to have a regular contact with the public and press via press conferences which is in line with Malta Police Transformation 2020-2025. Additionally, it has accepted regular media interviews and provided updates via the MFP’s Facebook page which is followed by over 79,000 people. 

He added that the MPF has worked on an anti-corruption strategy and found a balance between genders in force while also providing fairer procedures through the help of an internal Audit Department and the Equality and Diversity Working Group.

The Force also introduced a Gifts, Gratuities and Hospitality Register wherein every member of the force has to register anything they might get offered (whether they accept it or not) in an electronic database. 

Gafa also noted the publication of Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy in Nov 2020 saying that everyone is human and can be tempted to do the wrong thing, but this policy established an integrity office to ensure that integrity is cultivated, institutionalised and implemented across the board. 

He concluded by saying that all recommendations from GRECO have been addressed and “now we have to see that we stick by them.” 

“This Code of Ethics excludes no one, starting with myself. We have to be an example to the others,” he emphasised, addressing superiors attending the press conference. 

From his end, Home Affairs Byron Camilleri said that this edition of the Code shows three main things about the MPF; that it keeps it word, it is ready to keep reforming where needed, and that it is an administration that believes in the integrity of the people that shape it. 

He noted the rights of the police in this Code; the right to a good working environment, allowing full demonstration of their potential and ambition, free of any kind of physical or psychological violence and discrimination. He said that this will make for a more serene workforce which, in turn, fortifies their passion for this vocation and make this a job that one can aspire towards.

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