Simon Schembri, the police constable who served as an inspiration to many after he overcame terrible injuries obtained in a terrible attack as he worked as a traffic officer, has spoken out publicly for the first time since 80% of Malta’s traffic force was arrested in relation to a major racket.
“I know all of these officers, and they gave 100% to whoever was in need, and I am confident that all of the police force is doing the same,” Schembri told Lovin Malta.
When asked if people could still trust the police in light of revelations that officers may have been fraudulent when reporting their overtime or ‘extra’ duties, as well as other serious allegations, Simon responded in the positive.
“Yes, you can trust the police and if you need them they will be there for you,” he said.
The Malta police force has been rocked by the revelations after a whistleblower blew the lid on the racket, which had been going on for around three years.
Schembri, on his part, says he didn’t know these things were happening in his branch, “and I hope the new generation of police never pass through or do these things if what is said is true”.
Schembri was clear about his continued faith in the force, believing that Malta’s citizens can continue to feel safe and comfortable under the protection of the force.
“We are there to protect, save and serve,” he said. “And I am working more than ever so the public can see the sacrifice that an officer goes through, and how there remains a lack of respect for them.”
When asked about his thoughts on seeing 40 of his colleagues implicated in this widespread racket, he made no bones about it.
“In my opinion, they are making a show with most of these officers. But those who committed illegal acts must pay, just like everyone else,” he ended.
His comments come after the Blue Light Foundation, the association aimed at helping first responders and emergency workers, issued a statement distancing Schembri from the racket and confirming that he was not one of the officers being questioned.