European Network on Victims’ Rights

Malta – Specific measures during COVID-19 crisis

1) Good practices on communication with victims and crime reporting

  1. As regards the reporting of domestic violence cases, victims are often still going to the police stations because of the nature of the offence and the procedure involved in conducting risk assessments. However, it ultimately remains the decision of each victim whether to go to the police station or not.  If the victim decides to do so, our systems are in place to take the report and carry out the risk assessments. Also, if required, the police shall go to the victim’s house, especially if there is physical domestic violence. The police first check with the control room if the household to be visited are under quarantine or have tested positive for the virus. If this is the case, the police are provided with the right protective equipment so as they may still enter the house. The police are required to visit the homes in cases whereby calls are made by the victim, or even by parents or neighbours of the victim. In cases where the victims visit the police station, the required infection control measures are being implemented including the installation of Perspex and keeping the required distance.
  2. Cyber Crime Is On the Rise As More Maltese People Rely On Internet During COVID-19 Pandemic: The Malta Police Force took to Facebook to address the issue, notifying the public on what they should and should not due if they do find themselves a victim of cybercrime/hacking.
  3. Malta Police Will Now Accept Remote Reports To Help Limit Public Exposure To COVID-19: Police have modified their procedures to allow people to report non-immediate offences online from April in response to the challenges emanating from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
  4. “In order to limit public exposure and that of our officers, and out of an abundance of caution, we are modifying our procedure for response to calls for service,” the media branch of Malta Police Force said in a press release. Such modifications now include accepting and taking non-immediate reports remotely; either by calling on specific telephone numbers, visiting the police website or by emailing. The procedure came into effect starting 1st April 2020.

2) Good practices on organisation of support and protection

With regard to most basic services and support, respective systems and mechanisms have gone digital.