Editorial | Creating a safe space for fun and business

Having police stationed everywhere is unrealistic and unwarranted but an effective system of community policing, coupled with a rapid response system when problems arise, is desirable


Paceville has been Malta’s foremost entertainment spot for decades, providing a dynamic environment that has evolved over the decades.

The place has seen countless outlets changing genre, reinventing themselves and transforming over time to try and capture prevalent trends. The offering today is dominated by gentlemen’s clubs and may lack the diversity of the past but Paceville remains an entertainment hub that attracts thousands of patrons at night and most especially during the weekend.

But the locality is also a growing home during daytime for office workers employed in the gaming and financial sectors. And the new high-end developments going up in the environs will soon see the area home to a growing residential population.

Within this context, the zone needs a different level of policing to ensure the fun and inebriation does not turn into chaos.

The latest two incidents that have been reported in Paceville – one involving a fight between several men where a sword was used, and another involving a man who just entered a restaurant and caused mayhem – are cause for concern at a time when the entertainment and tourist industries are finding their feet after two years of disruptions caused by the pandemic.

It has to be said that similar incidents are not new but in a post-COVID context it would help to have the area better-policed in anticipation of a summer season that will see young people returning to the party scene in force.

Incidents will obviously continue to happen but a more visible presence could help to reduce the incidence and offer a quicker response when problems arise.

More police resources must be dedicated to ensuring that Malta’s entertainment zones are safe and secure thus putting the minds of patrons at rest.

But Paceville is not the only hotspot with the Nationalist Party last week calling for greater police presence in Gozo’s main entertainment hubs in Xlendi, Marsalforn and Mġarr.

Party spokespersons Alex Borg and Joe Giglio said the expected influx of people in Gozo during the summer required better policing.

The return of village feasts, large parties and outdoor events are a welcome boon for operators in the entertainment industry. Apart from enabling a return to social normality they also help to get the wheels of the economy turning and serve as attractions for tourism.

This increased human interaction will inevitably bring about problems of law and order, including social misbehaviour and vandalism.

While allowing people the space to have fun and relax without undue restrictions, it is in everyone’s interest that safety and security are guaranteed and the right balance is sought to ensure residents are respected.

This leader believes that more resources must be dedicated to policing Malta’s entertainment hotspots and the government must ensure the police force receives the right investment to be able to do so effectively.

Safety and security are important elements that investors will look at when deciding whether to relocate or open a branch in a new jurisdiction. Malta has a reputation of being a safe place but this image must not lull the authorities into complacency.

The horrible murder of a foreign woman in a Sliema public garden at the turn of the year was a shocking reminder that Malta is not immune to such barbarities.

Having police stationed everywhere is unrealistic and unwarranted but an effective system of community policing, coupled with a rapid response system when problems arise, is desirable.

Malta, including its entertainment spots, must remain a safe space for people to relax and businesses to thrive.

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