A concentrated effort to tackle pickpocketing in Malta is yielding massive results, with reported cases dropping by more than half in two years.
Revealed by Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia in a parliamentary question, the massive 2,447 cases reported in 2016, dropped to 1149 in 2018.
It appears that the police is on track for an impressive year in tackling the issue, with the police receiving 456 reports of pickpocketing in the first eight months of 2019.
Before addressing the issue, pickpocketing was growing in Malta at an alarming rate, increasing by 600% from 2009 to 2016.
The trend was linked to a number of Eastern European gangs by police officers, some of whom were brought to justice.
Beyond improving officers capabilities to tackle the problem, police also underwent an educational campaign for people to be aware of pickpockets.
Sliema, St Julian’s, Valletta, and St Paul’s Bay remain the hotbed for these kinds of offences.