Milan to boost anti-crime patrols

More patrols on Milan streets.

Milan is set to increase the number and visibility of police patrols and “Operation Safe Streets” army checkpoints to reassure residents and visitors that their security is being taken seriously.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the public order and security committee this week, when police chief Luciana Lamorgese, Milan mayor Beppe Sala and Lombardy regional governor Attilio Fontana met to discuss crime rates in and around the city.

Special attention is going to be paid to the outlying suburbs and in particular the area around Milan’s central railway station.  And the boost in crime-fighters is to be extended during the summer across the whole of the Lombardy region.

But the increase in street presence of security forces is not only aimed at prevention and dissuading petty criminals – the committee is concerned that the general public isn’t aware that crime statistics are falling, and have a false perception of the situation.

Crime reports were down 12 per cent in the city and by 14 per cent in the metropolitan region in 2017, said prefect Lamorgese, but the public impression is still that the streets are not as safe as they should be.

And mayor Sala agreed: “We can’t live by perception, but we need to step in and approach the problems decisively,” he told media after the meeting.  There are still specific areas which need more checks, more visible presence, he added.

The prefecture, which already holds meetings with local citizens’ committees, intends to increase the cooperation with “neighbourhood watch” movements which tip the authorities off to potential security hot-spots.

 Photo: Corriere della Sera