Boat donated by IAR to Malta Police
International Animal Rescue (IAR) and the Administrative Law Enforcement (ALE) section of the Malta Police enjoy a very good working relationship. Helping each other in their respective work and co-operating to better the protection of birds in Malta.
During one of our meetings the police told us that one of the biggest problems they had was their inability to chase hunters at sea. Hunters in Malta go out to sea equipped with high powered boats and the Police did not have access to suitable patrol boats to persue them. John Hicks promised that he would do his best to equip the police force with the right type of boat.
In 1996 the ALE section of the Malta Police were presented with a purpose designed rigid inflatable patrol boat to aid the Police in their job at sea. It has produced results during the last three years and several offenders have been brought before the Court of Justices.
When hunters see the boat in their vicinity they stop their illegal hunting. Simply the presence of the boat at sea is an indication that the Police were in the area providing a useful deterrent.
The Police have been able to do a lot of good work with this boat but on some occasions we demand much more. There was a period when the boat could only be used during the weekends because the Government rationed the amount of petrol used for the boat. The Police could use it only during the weekends when the majority of the hunters go out at sea. Because of political pressure the boat was not being used as it should. IAR Malta had talks with the authorities concerned and currently the boat is being used much more effectively than in recent years.
Sea shooting is one of the big problems which the Malta Police have to face. Following reports in the Maltese press by IAR regarding the number of birds still being illegally massacred at sea, one of the hunters federations appealed to the police to increase their patrols and bring the offenders to the book. This must be one of the few cases where a hunters association has asked the Police to step up their actions.