Malta’s new Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa has said he aims to make a country that is safe for everyone, whether they are a migrant or local, with tensions between both communities starting to grow.
Asylum seekers arriving in Malta has increased over the past year and with the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a renewed focus on the issue. Meanwhile, confrontations in Marsa and Hal Far are on the rise, with riots becoming a common occurrence.
On the other hand, migrants themselves are often subject to intense abuse, whether it is hate speech online or exploitation. A parliamentary petition to stop Malta from accepting irregular immigrants has even been filed.
“I understand people’s concerns and there is freedom of speech, but the action of people online and on the streets is subject to the law,” Gafa told Lovin Malta.
He explained that the police was already working to address the issues with educational campaigns and increased inspections. However, Gafa said that extending community policing across Maltese localities will help authorities better enforce the area.
“The police must assure that the country is safe for everyone, no one should be allowed to the legal line,” he said.
Ultimately, Gafa said, Malta has clearly become a multi-cultural society and that no one solution can be found. Improving enforcement in Malta’s streets could help.
You can watch the interview on Lovin Malta’s Facebook page or below:
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