The Malta Independent 28 May 2023, Sunday
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TMID Editorial: A worrying situation in Sliema

Friday, 31 March 2023, 13:02 Last update: about 3 months ago

A video recently shared by the Sliema Local Council showing a group of youths pushing one other, and forming a circle as two of them fight was quite alarming.

But this doesn’t seem to have been a one-off, as the local council said that these past few weekends "groups of youngsters have been vandalizing street furniture, being excessively noisy, and even fighting between themselves in Bisazza Street." 


The council appealed to the competent authorities to enforce the law and protect residents from this constant nuisance. “We hope that the authorities will not wait for a serious incident to happen before action is taken,” the Council said in a statement.

Aside from being a nuisance to neighbours, these children could end up getting hurt. It is also for their own wellbeing that this unacceptable situation must be dealt with quickly.

In its Facebook post, the council said: “The residents have been very concerned about these incidents and have contacted the Sliema Police, who although have responded to numerous calls, unfortunately, do not have the necessary manpower to deal with such a large number of teenagers.”

Questions were sent to the police by The Malta Independent about the Sliema situation, asking why the police haven’t intervened, what the police are doing about it, and whether the police will increase their presence in the affected areas.

In response, the police said: “Last Saturday, at around 9pm, the police received a call about a group of adolescents disturbing the public in Bisazza Street, Sliema. Police immediately went on site but the mentioned group was not found. Police patrolled the area but to no avail. Kindly note that there is increased presence in localities like Sliema, where patrols are carried out every day for crime prevention and community engagement. The Malta Police Force is committed to ensure safe and secure communities around all of Malta and Gozo and is investing heavily to achieve that goal.

The fact that there is increased police presence is good news, but from the local council’s statement, it seems that the situation has persisted for the past few weekends and thus it is evident that the current presence just isn’t enough. Police should step up their patrols.

The youths also need to be spoken to by the authorities to show them the dangers or possible ramifications of their actions, should they continue to act in such ways.

When contacted for a comment, the Mayor of Sliema John Pillow said that this isn’t a recent phenomenon and that there are “sometimes up to 70 eleven to fourteen-year-olds” who congregate in these areas.

Pillow said that he has himself gone to speak with the youths, to explain to them that they can’t make noise because it’s a residential area, “but the only thing they say is: ‘we want to have fun,’” Pillow said. “I then tell them that they don’t need to scream and fight to have fun, to which they merely reply with various expletives,” he continued.

One wonders where the authorities have been in all of this. One also hopes that the news breaking of what is taking place would also mean that parents who know that their children hang out in the area would realise what they might be doing, sit them down and talk to them about the dangers of such activity, in order to stop them from going down the wrong road. 

Pillow also mentioned something else that is worrying. “About a month and a half ago, there were some kids sitting down on the plaza steps and I was trying to level with them.” After the children asked whether Pillow ever engaged in drug-taking, “one of them told him: “come on, it’s fun taking drugs,” Pillow said. 

The police must also investigate and uncover whether someone has indeed been selling drugs to children. If it turns out to be true, that person must be arrested and prosecuted.

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