The effects of Malta’s police and armed forces in combatting crime in Malta have been laid bare after parliamentary figures revealed that 103 officers had been assaulted in the first eight months of 2019.
To put things into perspective, that’s at least three violent attacks on either police officers or members of the armed forces every single week.
The assault of a police officer or army member while carrying out their duties carries its own separate offence and is usually treated harshly in Maltese courts.
The issues surrounding violence against Malta police officers and armed forces erupted in May 2018, after PC Simon Schembri lost an arm in a hit-and-run incident involving a 17-year-old boy.
Schembri stopped Liam Debono after noticing his car’s dark tinted windows and later found out he was driving without a seatbelt or a license. Debono has been charged with attempted murder and is pleading not guilty.
Schembri has since set up the Blue Light Foundation, which provides financial and psychological aid to first responders involved in serious incidents.