Public perception negative, despite improvements.
Milan is the province in which most crimes are committed in Italy: 237,365, or 9.5 per cent of the national total.
The unenviable record is highlighted in the annual report to the senate on crime in Italy, produced by socio-economic institute Censis together with the national federation of security companies, with statistics from 2016.
In second place comes Rome with 228,856 (9.2 per cent), followed by Turin with 136,385 (5.5) and Naples with 136,043 (5.5 per cent).
The statistics also place Milan first in the number of crimes reported per head of population: 7.4 per resident, well above the national average of 4.1. Perhaps surprisingly, the number of crimes per head of population places Rimini second with 7.2 and Bologna with 6.6.
However, Censis also reports a general drop of 10.2 per cent in reported crimes between 2016 and 2017, regarding in particular murder and theft. But this improvement does not seem to be recognised by the general public.
“Italians are afraid,” states the report, “and not exclusively of becoming victims of crime.” Criminality is perceived as a serious problem by 21.5 per cent of respondents interviewed, especially among families in the lower income levels, states the report.
“In the face of increasing fear and the objective limitations [imposed by] budget considerations, so that public spending cannot increase at the level of previous years,” concludes Censis, “an excessive liberalisation of the room for personal defence is bringing with it the risk of dangerous vigilante tendencies.”
Some 39 per cent of Italians interviewed are in favour of relaxing the rules for ownership of firearms for personal defence, a sharp increase from the 26 per cent reported in 2015, states Censis.