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Title: Reforming with resolve : 5 years to fast-track a two-century old Malta Police Force
Authors: Formosa, Saviour
Gafa, Angelo
Formosa Pace, Janice
Keywords: Crime -- Malta
Police -- Malta
Police regulations -- Malta
Crime prevention -- Malta
Police administration -- Malta
Issue Date: 2024-03
Publisher: University of Malta
Citation: Formosa, S., Gafa, A., Formosa Pace, J., (2024). Reforming with Resolve: 5 years to fast-track a two-century old Malta Police Force, Occasional papers: Department of Criminology, University of Malta, Msida, 20, March 2024
Series/Report no.: 2024;1
Abstract: The Malta Police Force posits a dilemma: a 200+ year old agency, one of the first in Europe harbouring a legacy spanning colonialism, independence, European and international membership, enough to sit on one’s laurels. But, and a crucial But, it lives in a rapidly internationalised world that has moved from the physical to the virtual realities: however retaining its archaic modus operandi, resulting in evolution stalling, resistance to change, a top-heavy structure and stagnation in its thought processes. A situation that was affecting its administrative, strategic, operational and tactical approach to crime mitigation, both proactive and reactive. Time to change, time to overhaul. This paper reviews the processes undergone since 2015 to identify, discuss and mitigate the challenges required to revitalise this long-standing institution. This necessitated an endearing strive by agents external to the force to seek change, many a time employing shock tactics through the publication of crime statistics, the political will to change the legislation, the inclusion of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and eventually a new Commissioner of Police (CoP), the input from international agencies to seek funding away from national funds and the eventual launching of a five-year Transformation Strategy in 2020. The paper posits an analysis of the change effects on the Malta Police Force emanating from the new vision and mission, the main transformative elements, the three desired outcomes, the 11 strategic objectives and the 49 strategic initiatives. It identifies the problems, challenges, pain points and innovative methods employed to steer the battered ironclad into the uncharted waters posited by new realities. This, without losing focus of the main elements that triggered this transformation: the Force’s strive to seek trust from its main client: the citizen. The processes employed in the implementation of the 2020-2025 Transformation Strategy, the governance processes, the management changes, the tactical approach based on new forms of financial and organised crime, the change steering team and the methods sought to mitigate the challenges wrought by each change, which served as a fulcrum for organisational evolution. The process highlights the elements required to focus upon in affecting the next steps required to fulfil the strategic targets all geared towards the realisation of the Malta Police’s vision, ‘for the community to trust us in ensuring a safe and secure society for everyone’ (Malta Police Force, 2020, p. 11).
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