Forget the hype about the Mafia, stilettos and all the rest!
As in all countries, in Italy there are areas and periods which are dangerous and others which are safe. If you plan well and keep in mind that you are entering a different environment, you can have a safe and momentous trip!
Passports and means of ID:
- Italian hotels require that all occupants show their passport/ID for registration with local police. This can be done while you wait. The hotel does not have the right to hold on to any documents.
- If you fear that you are at a risk of losing your passport or having it stolen make a photocopy and deposit the passport in the hotel safe. BE SURE TO GET A RECEIPT.
- Most stores and restaurants now accept major credit cards and are equipped with electronic P.O.S. machines.
- Sales assistants rarely, if ever, check signatures against the cards, so this means that stolen cards can do a lot of damage in a short period of time.
Pick-pocketing has become a major problem in all large cities.
- There are many unemployed, often illegal immigrants, from Eastern Europe who plague passers-by.
- Groups of small children, too young to be prosecuted, roam the streets.
- If you ever see a group carrying sheets of cardboard (which they use as a cover) BEWARE !
Kidnapping and Organized Crime
Kidnapping is a very serious problem in Italy. The crimes are usually well planned in advance by criminals linked to one or another of O.C. organizations in Italy.
As the paying of ransom is illegal in Italy, many kidnappings are never reported. BY AND LARGE SHORT-TERM VISITORS TO ITALY ARE NOT AT RISK.
SHOULD YOU BE CAUTIOUS OF ORGANIZED CRIME?
As a rule of thumb ask yourself these questions:
- Am I, or is my business, a target for O.C. in my own or other countries?
- Has our Italian subsidiary ever experienced problems with O.C. ?
- Do we operate in a crime sensitive sector? eg. large public works projects.
If the answer to any of the above questions, is YES , then it is imperative that you and corporate security obtain local professional assistance and advice before planning any trip.
If the answers are NO then it is unlikely that O.C. will bother with you.
The basic advice that applies to all countries is valid in Italy too.
KEEP A LOW PROFILE !
If you cannot, or will not, make sure you are protected and that intelligence is continually being gathered and assessed.