Transport Malta and LESA officers can move vehicles causing obstructions themselves and do not need police officers to get involved, the Malta Police Union has said while filing a trade dispute. 

The union says that officers are being overwhelmed by requests to intervene in such cases, stretching already strained resources to the limit.

It cited one such example, on September 6 in Valletta, when a Transport Malta official told police officers to contact the owners of 53 different cars to get them to move their vehicles for road works to be carried out. 

"The union is not against assisting Transport Malta, LESA, Local Councils or any other entity but within reason and proportionality, and when their safety is at risk,” it said in its statement. 

Police officers were ordered to help such officials in circulars issued by the police commissioner dated February 2021. But the union contends that by law, such entities are empowered to move or clamp any objects that are causing a nuisance or obstruction, without needing the help of police officers.

It cited subsidiary legislation SL 65.13 and SL 499.51 to make its point. 

The union said that while it had sought to engage the upper echelons of the police force in talks about this issue, it was immediately shut down.

“Our aim is always to resolve matters internally, however, this is impossible in the current circumstances,” it said. 

“We reiterate our position that since TM officials have equivalent powers on this matter, the Police Force should not be involved in their normal duties as long as no concrete assistance to protect same officers is requested,” it said.

The union said it did not exclude further industrial action should the problem persist. 

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