Malta is a relatively safe country, and it could be claimed that it’s one of the safest countries in the developed world. Visitors to Malta are unlikely to be the victim of crime whilst on holiday. In 2009, it was reported that Malta had a rate of 34 crimes per 1,000 persons, compared to a high of 100/1000 for Finland at one extreme and 10/1000 in Greece.
Whilst most areas of Malta are relatively safe, and violent crimes are few and far between being mostly perpetrated by assailants known to victims, there are crime hotspots that have been identified.
Around the tourist areas of St Julians, St Pauls Bay and Sliema, petty theft is reported most often, involving incidents such as pickpocketing and theft of personal possessions. The capital, Valletta, also reports a higher incidence of this type of offence that other areas of Malta. The areas with the lowest rates of crime in Malta are Ta’ Xbiex and Pembroke, with the island of Gozo having a lower reported level of crime in general. Opportunistic crimes such as car break-ins occur more frequently in the summer months in the main tourist areas. Criminals, however, don’t appear on the whole to reside in the areas where the crimes are committed. The most common place of residence of offenders in order is Bormla, Valletta, Qormi and Gzira.
The most common types of crime reported involve theft; the next most-reported crime is damage to property and then assault. Malta has some of the lowest rates for more serious crimes such as rapes, homicides, drugs, fraud and bribery. In February 2010, The Ministry for Home affairs reported that crime in Malta had dropped 34 per cent between 2009 and 2005, with the theft rate dropping by 12% in 2009.
If you are a victim of crime, call the police on 112. 112 is also the emergency number for the ambulance service and civil protection, who handle fire-fighting duties.