Law enforcement in Malta
Law enforcement in Malta is the responsibility of The Police Force of Malta, a 1,732 strong police force with 106 other civilian employees, whose mission is defined by the Penal Code of Malta and Maltese Law on the Police Force. Founded on July 12, 1814 by Sir Thomas Maitland, then governor of the island, the Maltese Police Force is responsible for the main island of Malta, as well as neighbouring islands of Gozo and Comino which also come under Malta's jurisdiction, the total population being around 400,000.
Despite its small size, the Maltese Police Force is organised into a number of departments, with human resources matters being held by the Strategy and Planning Office, and fiscal issues being dealt with by the Finance Office.
An office for the Divisional Police Force Units administers Malta's 12 police districts, with three sub-departments of the Crime Investigation Department assisting with serious crimes, drug-related crimes and financial crimes.
These mainstream departments are also supported by a Forensic Science Laboratory, Vice Squad, and Economic Crimes Unit, Legal Office and a Protective Services for VIP escorting and security as functions and protests.
Furthermore, a department known as The International Relations Unit coordinates activities with EUROPOL, INTERPOL (since 1971) and the Schengen Information System, and is tasked with exchange of information.
Maltese police officers do not normally carry firearms while on standard patrol, but routinely carry pepper spray and batons as weapons. With the exception of specialist units, officers do not carry firearms as a matter of course.