If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know I'm not a big fan of the American Embassy in Malta. They basically do nothing for the US citizen living in here. The only thing you can count on is the annual country advisory if you're registered as an expat. Here's the most recent email/report I got from the US Embassy.
And I have to say that it's the first time there's been a warning about Malta--in particular, the crime in places like Paceville.
And, unfortunately, I have to agree. Besides my daughter getting her camera stolen and her friend getting his phone stolen on the same evening in Paceville a couple of years ago, I heard of a terrible rape of an English woman (a friend of friends) in her 20s who was separated briefly from her group of friends.
She was lured away by a group of guys offering her a drink, they drugged her and then gang raped her. She awoke in the middle of the attack and when they were finished with her, they tossed her out of their car in the middle of Sliema.
The family left Malta for England shortly after, not even following up through the Maltese courts because of the victim's fragile condition following the trauma she suffered.
I still feel safe, inshallah, walking the main streets of Malta at night--even alone. But Paceville is another story. In this case, I would heed the warning of the US Embassy. Here's the email I received:
(Here's one bit of advice. The Embassy recommends that you carry its phone number in your mobile if you need it. Your chances of reaching Brad Pitt are better than getting through to the Embassy. If you're in trouble, forget the Embassy. It will do nothing--and I mean nothing--for you. If you break the law in Malta, you are subject to the laws of Malta. If you are victimized, seek help where you can, but don't waste your time with the US Embassy. It must be in Malta for a reason, but the US citizens who reside in Malta are not one of them.)
Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Crimes Against Foreign Tourists
November 6, 2012
The U.S. Embassy in Malta advises U.S. citizens living in, or
considering travel to, Malta to exercise caution and avoid large crowds
or gatherings of foreign tourists. Within Malta, the Paceville area is
known for its high rate of crime against foreign tourists. There are
recent reports of incidents of suspicious individuals observing large
groups of foreign tourists, particularly when using hotel pick-up
We recommend keeping emergency contact numbers in your cell phone, such
as the U.S. Embassy Valletta (00356-2561-4000) as well as Maltese
Police, Fire and Rescue (112).
Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings,
including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.
Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance
your personal security.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in
Malta enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment
Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov. STEP enrollment gives you the
latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or
nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don't
have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or
Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find
current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read
the Country Specific Information for Malta. For additional information,
refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad" on the State Department's website.
Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on
travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the
United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These
numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday
through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and
Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel
information at your fingertips.
The U.S. Embassy in Valletta is located at Ta' Qali National Park,
Attard, ATD 4000. To reach the American Citizens Services unit, please
call (356) 2561 4000, or e-mail us at ConsularMalta@state.gov.
This email is UNCLASSIFIED