As of next year, police officers in Malta will be taking drug tests – and anyone who fails the test will be dismissed from the corps.
Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa’ announced this as he emphasised the force was stepping up its fight against corruption.
Officers will also be able to report their colleagues for crimes they may have committed without having to identify themselves and fear repercussions internally.
This increased protection for police whistleblowers comes after it was illegal for officers to make such a report due to internal police force policy.
As for the drug tests, officers who refuse to undergo the test may be dismissed from the force.
While the regularity of the tests have yet to be confirmed, they could range from spontaneous drug tests to tests based on reasonable suspicion. An internal consultation is still ongoing.
Reasonable suspicion could stem from an anonymous report from a colleague, for example.
Gafa’ said he aimed for officers to be tested at least once a year.
Aside from this, a new measure to fight internal corruption would see a registry set up where all gifts offered to corps members would be listed. The list would include gifts not accepted as well as gifts given with “good intentions”.
Gafa’ confirmed that following talks with the Institute of Maltese Journalists, officers will undergo courses to ensure that good relations are maintained with journalists as well as to avoid leaking sensitive information.
These policies are set to be fully implemented by 2025.
Do you agree with officers being drug tested on the regular?