A Stepped Up Police Presence in Florence

Extra police and carabinieri forces have been ordered on duty in Florence due to multiple incidents of robbery and other types of attacks which have recently occurred on city streets. Reinforcements are scheduled to arrive, and on April 22 the Santa Maria Novella Carabinieri station is also slated to reopen—in a location close to where most of the crime-related incidents took place.

This was announced by the Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, after yet another theft had occurred recently in the historic city center. By June 23, extra police agents—polizia—will assigned to Florence. The reopening of the Santa Maria Novella Carabinieri station will bring 40 carabinieri officers, together with the 24 others from the Tuscania battalion.

Over the course of the last several months, an increase in petty crime has occurred in the historic city centre. Underaged boys are victims of street theft in the early hours of the evening; young women are attacked and robbed; even the elderly are not spared when it comes to theft and abuse. Almost all perpetrators, many of whom are foreigners, have been arrested, from February until the present. Most of the cases happened in February and March.

Florence’s mayor Dario Nardella appreciates the decision, as he had frequent requests for it in the past. “I am happy with this important announcement that meets requests voiced in recent months, to ensure greater control of the city. […]. The stepped-up availability of police forces will allow us to prepare [in] the best possible way […] for the return of tourism and nightlight in the city squares.”

The Carabinieri and the Polizia di Stato are two different law enforcement departments. The carabinieri is an official branch of the Italian military, and as part of official armed forces, the Carabinieri falls under the Ministry of Defence. The Polizia di Stato fall under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The polizia is more involved with general safety, general law enforcement and local issues. (ted de veer)