CrimeMalta Observatory

CrimeMalta has been set up specifically to create a medium for crime-related information and to serve as a Maltese focal point for the reduction of crime and spreading awareness on safety. Based on research initiated in 1997, the project that developed into CrimeMalta has striven to prepare the base structures for understanding crime in the Maltese Islands, employing high-end technologies, as based on spatio-temporal approaches.


CrimeMalta managed to create the social and spatial datasets that helped develop the use of GIS in the field of crime, which has yet to be taken up at national level. The CRISOLA and RISC Models were developed by Professor Saviour Formosa as part of his PhD research.



The Author

Professor Saviour Formosa is the Head of Department of Criminology, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta. He has a Ph.D. in spatio-temporal environmental criminology, a MSc in GIS and a BA(Hons) in Sociology. His main area of research is spatio-temporal analysis of the social and physical relationships using spatial information systems.

His expertise lies in the implementation of developmental cross-thematic approaches and uses to the data cycle and management with emphasis on the thematic and spatial data structures, visualisation, modelling, web-mapping, analysis and dataflow management and reporting. He is a Member of the Applied Criminology Centre at the University of Huddersfield. ProfessorFormosa has developed the website which covers ongoing crime-related research and statistics in Malta.

Involved in various research projects, he serves as Malta’s National contact for ESPON, GEO, GEOSS and EEA NFP.

Prof. Formosa is a reviewer of a number of international journals and publishers: SAGE, Springer, ScienceDomain, ICCSA, IIIS and ECS.


Latest Project Awarded: €7million through ERDF Funding for a Spatial Information project entitled "SIntegraM: Spatial Data Integration for the Maltese Islands: Developing Integrated National Spatial Information Capacity".


Latest Books Published:
Formosa S., (Ed), (2017), Emergent Realities for Social Wellbeing: Environmental, Spatial and Social Pathways, University of Malta, Msida and Malta Environment and Planning Authority, Floriana, Malta, ISBN: 978-99957-908-1-3
Formosa Pace, J., Formosa, S., Azzopardi, J., Calafato, T., Calafato Testa, S., Caruana, P., Darmanin, B., Gauci, D., Lewis, O. & Scicluna, S. 2015, SeCollege: Researching the Potential for the Establishment of a Secure College in the Maltese Islands, Department of Criminology, University of Malta, Msida.
Formosa S., (Ed), (2014), Future Preparedness: Thematic & Spatial Issues for the Environment & Sustainability, University of Malta, Msida and Malta Environment and Planning Authority, Floriana, Malta, ISBN: 978-99957-834-6-4
Formosa, S., Scicluna, S., and Azzopardi J., (Eds.) (2013). Realities of Crime, Society and Landuse in the Mediterranean: JANUS I, University of Malta, Msida, Malta ISBN: 978-99957-834-0-2
Scicluna, S., Formosa, S., and Azzopardi J., (Eds.) (2013). Indicators for Crime Prevention in the Mediterranean: JANUS II, University of Malta, Msida, Malta, ISBN: 978-99957-834-2-6
Azzopardi J., Formosa, S., Scicluna, S., and Willis, A., (Eds.) (2013). Key Issues in Criminology: JANUS III, University of Malta, Msida, Malta ISBN: 978-99957-834-4-0


An updated publications list can be found at:
Faculty for Social Wellbeing
University of Malta
Tel: 00356 2340 2042



The concept of crime mapping though relatively new has been integrated within policy making and the formulation of various cross-thematic strategies related to the reduction of crime.

Acknowledgements are due to the Malta Police Force, the University of malta, the Planning Authority and may enforcement-related entities..

The Next Years: Spatial Data Integration Project

An idea that started off in 1995 and which required a mentality shift to ensure readiness in data and information sharing, the abolition of data hoarding and the creation of collaborative protocols that ensure a gather-one/use-many scenario within a spatial construct, is coming to fruition.

A €7million ERDF project has been announced as conceptualised and driven by Professor Saviour Formosa (Faculty for Social Wellbeing) who initiated a process whereby data is built around a spatial-core and which resultant information could be used by both policy makers and academics to create knowledge and in turn action. Interestingly, this project was not simply based on a dream but on years of hard-work, entailing a process took 22-years to achieve fruition, Such was required due to the need to ensure the elimination of barriers created through lack of access to data, the transposition of the INSPIRE Directive and a collaborative approach across all government entities. The process was aided through the successful conclusion of a Professor Formosa’s previous €5 million ERDF project that enabled the creation and dissemination of environmental and 3D terrestrial and bathymetric data.

The SIntegraM (Spatial Data Integration for the Maltese Islands Spatial Data Integration for the Maltese Islands: Developing Integrated National Spatial Information Capacity) project, is being part-financed by the European Regional and Development Fund and will be led by the Planning Authority with full partnership from all Ministries and their relative entities. Professor Formosa was instrumental in conceptualising and now driving the project, which was given a boost through the championing of Perit Vincent Cassar (PA Board Chairperson) and Mr Johann Buttigieg (PA Executive Chairperson) as well as the designated project leader Ms Ashley Hili.

The project will benefit the University of Malta due to its cross-thematic approach that spans all Faculties and Institutes both through access to data, access to data capture and analytical technologies as well as access to expertise. The project will deliver a strategic approach to spatial data, integration of vital base datasets, new legislation as well as training, The main concept built around the creation of data creation protocols, information exchange, access to data, and inherently data protection and privacy, In terms of infrastructure, the project will acquire systems, equipment, data capture devices using aerial, terrestrial and marine technologies, in addition to analytical and dissemination tools that will ensure inter-governmental data dissemination, and national preparedness.

Examples of integrated research that span disciplines could include the analysis of air pollution as carried by air currents as affecting the health of children who live close to an amenity site or the investigation of potential development as it affects landscapes and skylines through a euclidean or viewshed approach, in turn resulting in the calculation of flooding that in turn alerts the Civil Protection and Transport entities to close off areas at risk. There are 22 years’ worth of ideas in the pipeline.


The project is set to change the way information is viewed, accessed and given academic value - added in turn enhancing the University's role in bringing about social change.


Reference: Newspoint, 08 Feb 2017. Artcle entitled: Pushing the spatial information envelope: a €7 million project for the Maltese Islands.