Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Police Culture in Malta.

By Jacqueline Azzopardi Cauchi


This dissertation is an attempt at identifying the threads that constitute and bind the complex tapestry of Maltese police culture. It describes police culture as understood by various authors, especially by Reiner (2000:87-101) however, it also describes police culture from the Maltese perspective. As Chan (1997:66) explains, there exist several ‘cultures within a police force’ and the culture of one police force varies from the next.\ud Police cultures do not originate in a vacuum but within dominant cultures. Thus, the dominant culture of a particular society determines the type of its police culture. Therefore, the recent political history of the Maltese islands influenced the nature of its police culture. Indeed, Maltese opinion leaders, Dom Mintoff in particular, moulded police occupational culture: verbal and physical harshness, political intolerance, fear, unconditional obedience for those in command, firmness and hard-headedness.\ud Reiner (1992:109) explains that police experiences are the building blocks of police culture. These serve as guidance to other police officers, helping them to deal with and adjust to the stress induced by policing. Successive generations of police officers absorb this culture, use it as a point of reference, transform it and carry it on to the next generation of police officers. Cox (1996:167-169) explains that police recruits are ‘encouraged to treat other citizens encountered as “symbolic assailants”’, basing their attitudes on stereotypes. Thus, since the ‘cultural model of organisations emphasizes the underlying values, beliefs, and attitudes of organizational members’ (Fyfe, Greene, Walsh, Wilson and McLaren, 1997:160), this thesis investigates the self-conceptions and the attitudes of Maltese police officers as well as their relationship with: the community, offenders, victims, the judiciary and corrections.\ud An insight into how Maltese police officers view society and their role within it facilitates the comprehension of their operating methods. Effective cultural change is not imposed: it comes from within the police force, triggered by the very officers who are constantly changing police culture (Chan, 1997:237). The findings of this study could pave the way for better police training and for the consequent improvements in Maltese policing

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2004
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2002). 25th April). The Silent Cry. The Malta Independent,
  2. (1994). A politician and his audience: Malta’s Dom Mintoff. In
  3. (1993). Aggression: Its causes, consequences and control. doi
  4. (1993). Alcohol and other drugs are key causal agents of violence. In doi
  5. (1996). An invitation to reflexive sociology. doi
  6. (1992). Anti-gay violence and victimization in the US: An overview. In doi
  7. (2000). Aspects of racism in Malta. Malta: Union Print.
  8. (2000). Backstage punishment: Police violence, occupational culture and criminal justice. In
  9. (1998). Basic statistics for behavioural science research.
  10. (1993). Battering of women: The failure of intervention and the case for prevention. doi
  11. (1997). Changing police culture: Policing in a multicultural society. Cambridge: doi
  12. (1980). Child abuse: Commission and omission.
  13. (1993). Community corrections.
  14. (1996). Community policing and problem solving: Strategies and practices. doi
  15. (1995). Community policing. doi
  16. (1990). Crime victims: An introduction to victimology (2nd ed.).
  17. (1995). Criminology: The shorter version. (2nd ed.).
  18. (2000). Doing criminological research. doi
  19. (1996). Doing justice, doing gender: Women in law and criminal justice occupations. doi
  20. (1999). Domestic violence: Findings from a new British crime survey selfcompletion questionnaire. doi
  21. (1991). Elder mistreatment: Deciding who is at risk. London:
  22. (1998). Emotion. In doi
  23. (1997). Ending domestic violence: Changing public perceptions/halting the epidemic. doi
  24. (1999). Exploring social issues using SPSS for Windows 95. doi
  25. (1995). Fear and the perception of alternatives: Asking “why battered women don’t leave” is the wrong question.
  26. (1997). Feminism and criminology. doi
  27. (1992). Feminist political theory. doi
  28. (1997). From culture to hegemony. In
  29. (1995). Gender and crime: An introduction.
  30. (1990). Helping crime victims: Research, policy, and practice. doi
  31. (2000). Helping people cope with crime: Victim support handbook. UK: Hodder and Stoughton. doi
  32. (2000). Hoegen Victims of Crime in 22 European Criminal Justice Systems: The Implementations of Recommendation doi
  33. (1993). Home Affairs Select Committee.
  34. (1997). I love a cop: What police families need to know. doi
  35. (1998). Il-mara maltija wara s-sena
  36. (1993). Il-qorti tikkundanna lil Lawrence Pullicino 15 il-sena ħabs. Pullicino jappella mis-sentenza talqorti.
  37. (1996). Imħatra li diġa’ nsejt: Eku tal-ħmar il-lejl soċjalista. Malta:
  38. (2001). Informers and corruption. In
  39. (2001). Informers, agents and accountability. In
  40. (2001). Informers’ careers: Motivation and change. In
  41. (1997). Interpreting qualitative data: Methods for analysing talk, text and interaction. doi
  42. (2000). Introducing Social Studies.
  43. (1983). Introduction to psychology. (8th ed.).
  44. (1993). Introduction: Strength and weakness. In doi
  45. (2001). Introduction. In
  46. (1992). Issues in realist criminology. doi
  47. (1995). Justice administration: Police, courts, and corrections management.
  48. (1994). Justice without trial: Law enforcement in democratic society. (3rd ed.). doi
  49. (1997). Juvenile crime justice and corrections. doi
  50. (1992). Legal issues in child abuse and neglect. doi
  51. (2001). Liberta’ mhedda: Ksur ta’ drittijiet fundamentali tal-bniedem fi stat polizjesk 1980-1987. Malta:
  52. (1994). Maltese political parties and political modernisation. In
  53. (1998). Management Efficiency Unit and Community and Media Relations Unit,
  54. (1995). Methods of criminological research. doi
  55. (1994). Old age abuse: A new perspective. doi
  56. (1994). Old age constructions and deconstructions. UK: doi
  57. (1997). On collecting art and culture. In
  58. (1986). Openness and accountability.
  59. (1997). Organizational culture and leadership. (2nd ed.). San Francisco: doi
  60. (1996). Organizations and the psychological contract. UK:
  61. (1994). Outsiders. In
  62. (1995). Over the edge: One police woman’s story of emotional and sexual harassment.
  63. (1993). Overreporting and underreporting are twin problems. In doi
  64. (1991). Party politics in a fortress colony: The Maltese experience. Malta:
  65. (1994). Patterns of crime. In
  66. (1999). Personality traits. UK:
  67. (1994). Perspectives on class in Malta. In
  68. (1993). Physical child abuse. In doi
  69. (1995). Police informers: Negotiation and power.
  70. (1993). Police intervention and public opinion. In
  71. (1996). Police investigation: The changing criminal justice. In doi
  72. (1996). Police response to domestic violence complaints. In
  73. (1999). Police, probation & protecting the public. doi
  74. (1996). Police: Practices, perspectives and problems.
  75. (1998). Policewomen in Malta. Unpublished master’s thesis,
  76. (2000). Policing Britain: Risk, security and governance. doi
  77. (1999). Policing citizens. doi
  78. (1992). Policing domestic violence: Experiments and dilemmas. doi
  79. (1986). Policing in the limelight: Citizens, constables and controversies. In
  80. (1986). Policing the community: Powers, procedures and participation. In
  81. (2000). Policing the media: Street cops and public perceptions of law enforcement. doi
  82. (2001). Policing, ethics and human rights. doi
  83. (2002). Policing: An introduction to concepts and practice. doi
  84. (1996). Probation, parole, and community corrections. doi
  85. (1998). Proposals for amendments to Maltese legislation to provide for better protection to victims of domestic violence. (White Paper,
  86. (1998). Psychology and crime: An introduction to criminological psychology. doi
  87. (2000). Psychology and crime: Myths and reality.
  88. (1986). Questioning the suspect. In
  89. (1992). Race relations and policing. In
  90. (1995). Racial violence and harassment. London: Policy Studies Institute. doi
  91. (1993). Rape: The misunderstood crime. doi
  92. (1997). Reforming policing: Lessons from the Whitrod era.
  93. (1992). Relations between federal and local doi
  94. (1991). Reproducing order: A study of police patrol work. Toronto: doi
  95. (1997). Research methods in criminal justice and criminology. doi
  96. (1998). Researching society and culture. doi
  97. (1988). Responding to child abuse: Action and planning for teachers and other professional. UK: Henry Ling.
  98. (1994). Rock music and counter-culturalism in Malta. In
  99. (1995). Sexual harassment: Its first decade in court. In
  100. (1989). Sexual victimization: Man’s struggle with power. In
  101. (1993). Social psychology. (2nd ed.).
  102. (1995). Social research methods. doi
  103. (1986). Somebody’s husband, somebody’s son: The story of the Yorkshire Ripper. doi
  104. (1995). Stress and policing: Sources and strategies.
  105. (2002). Stress in policing. doi
  106. (1992). Subterranean processes in the maintenance of power: An examination of the mechanism coordinating police action. In doi
  107. (2000). The doi
  108. (1995). The abuse of older people: A training manual for detection and prevention. (2nd ed.).
  109. (1993). The authoritarian character from Berlin to Berkeley and beyond: The odyssey of a problem. In doi
  110. (1988). The campaign for the employment of women as police officers.
  111. (1985). The Children and Young People’s Act
  112. (1964). The Constitution of Malta doi
  113. (2002). The Criminal Code doi
  114. (2001). The ethics of informer handling. In
  115. (2000). The fabrication of social order: A critical theory of police power. doi
  116. (1986). The framework of law and policing practice. In
  117. (1988). The genesis of Maltese nationalism. In V. Mallia-Milanes (Ed.), The British colonial experience 1800-1964: The impact on Maltese society (pp.). Malta:
  118. (1959). The holy family bible.
  119. (2000). The idea of culture. doi
  120. (1993). The impact of police laying charges. In
  121. (1989). The impact of police on victims. In
  122. (1995). The interactive effects of race and sex on women police officers.
  123. (1980). The Juvenile Court doi
  124. (1994). The Maltese community in metro Toronto: Invisible identity/ies. In
  125. (1994). The Maltese elderly: From institutionalisation to active participation in the community. In
  126. (1994). The Maltese family in the context of social change. In
  127. (1994). The mistreatment of elderly people. doi
  128. (1994). The police and young people in Australia. Cambridge: doi
  129. (2000). The police use of force: Contexts and constraints. In
  130. (1996). The police, public order and the state: Policing doi
  131. (1998). The policing of protests in western democracies. doi
  132. (1991). The politics of street crime: Criminal process and cultural obsession. doi
  133. (1992). The politics of the police. (2nd ed.). London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
  134. (2000). The politics of the police. (3rd ed.). Oxford:
  135. (1515). The Prince. doi
  136. The Probation Act (2002), Chapter 446. The Laws of Malta.
  137. (1957). The Probation of Offenders Act doi
  138. (1996). The social psychology of gender. doi
  139. (1991). The theoretical and political priorities of critical criminology. In
  140. (1994). The visibility and invisibility of women. In
  141. (1986). Theoretical criminology. (3rd ed.). Oxford:
  142. (1995). Thinking seriously about crime: Some models of criminology. In
  143. (1993). Through a sociological lens: Social structure and family violence. In
  144. (1993). Two cultures of policing: Street cops and management cops. doi
  145. (2001). Understanding culture.
  146. (1998). Understanding police culture. doi
  147. (1998). Understanding youth and crime. doi
  148. (1994). Values for Malta’s future: Social change, values and social policy. In
  149. (1989). Victimology today: Major issues in research and public policy. In
  150. (1996). Victims in the criminal justice system. doi
  151. (1993). Victims still: The political manipulation of crime victims. doi
  152. (1995). Violence: An integrated multivariate study of human aggression.
  153. (1999). Violent racism: Victimization, policing and social context. Oxford: doi
  154. (1980). Women
  155. (1996). Women as police supervisors in the twenty first century: a decade of promotional practices by gender in three major police agencies. In
  156. (1992). Women at work: The essential guide for the working woman. Dorset:
  157. (1992). Women in control? The role of women in law enforcement.
  158. (1989). Women police officers: Current career profile. USA: Charles C.
  159. (1992). Women, violence and social change. doi
  160. (1998). Young people and youth justice. doi
  161. (1994). Youth, crime and society. doi
  162. (1996). Youth, policing and democracy. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.