New specialised software will help police and customs clamp down on fraud, while cameras will help locate stolen cars and other irregularities on the road, Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said on Friday.

Addressing a press conference, Dr Farrugia said the law enforcement software, called i2, s designed to help investigators visualise and process complex data to investigate and prevent crime – particularly that linked to fraud and abuse of the EU budget.

EU Funds Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia said some €1.5 million had been secured from the European Commission’s Hercules Fund to purchase the software, accompanying hardware, as well as to pay for training for specialised police officers and Customs officials.

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Maltese Police had to put in a bid for these direct funds, competing against bids from other member states.

Some €20 million worth of project investment was currently being implemented by the police, across a number of different schemes. €6 million of this had come from the last EU funding period.

New camera technology 

Meanwhile, Dr Farrugia said over the next year and half the police would be rolling out new camera technology, including in police cars that was meant to help locate stolen vehicles and license plate irregularities.

“This is all part of our effort to not only combat and solve crime, but also to prevent it from happening in the first place,” Dr Farrugia said.

He reiterated statements he has already made in previous weeks, that preliminary data for 2018 showed that “criminality” was down.

Despite having more people on the island and increased activity with potential links to crime, Dr Farrugia said, the police’s efforts to act as a deterrent was reaping benefits.

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