Crime in Italy is at lower levels than in the UK or the US. The information on these pages will give an awareness of possible problems and how to protect yourself against crime in Italy.
Italy is a relatively crime free country. Certainly there is organised crime – from the Sicilian Mafia and Neapolitan Camorra to high-level corporate crime, but these rarely have an impact on the ordinary visitor to Italy. Meanwhile, domestic violence is the most widely reported violent crime in Italy.
Pickpockets – Fagin would be proud of the bands of street urchins that work the tourists. They usually work in pairs or groups and while one lot are distracting the tourist’s attention, another is pick pocketing them.
In one routine, one thief throws something at the victim, a second thief assists them in cleaning up the mess, and the third discreetly takes the victim's belongings.
Another trick, usually carried out on public transport, is to slit the bottom of the victim’s handbag and walk off with the contents.
Car Crime – most car crimes are petty. Cars parked near beaches during the summer have been broken into and had items stolen. Robbers take things from cars at petrol stations often by smashing car windows. There have been incidents of car-jacking, but these are few.
To avoid petty car crime keep your valuables out of sight. Don’t leave belongings on the seats.
Carabinieri –wear military type uniforms with white shoulder belts. They handle general crime, drug offences and public order.
Polizia Statale – assaults and thefts should be reported to them.
Vigili Urbani – direct traffic and issue parking fines in the cities.
Polizia Stradale – take care of crime and traffic offences on the motorways.
If you are a victim of a crime your first call should be at the local police station or Questura where they also deal with lost passports and other formalities.
Emergency Phone Numbers:
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