Phew! Pickpocketing in Italy has declined significantly

Pickpocketing, along with overall crime levels, has seen a decline in Italy, Interior Ministry figures show - news which is sure to provoke a sigh of relief from wary tourists.

Phew! Pickpocketing in Italy has declined significantly
Where in Italy is your wallet safest? File photo: Pexels

The new statistics come from Il Sole 24 Ore's annual crime report, based on figures provided to the financial daily by the Interior Ministry.

Overall, Italy saw a drop in the total number of crimes reported, down 4.5 percent from 2.8 million to 2.7 million. This followed a 2.7 percent decline in 2014, after three years of steady increase. 

However, that still leaves 7,500 crimes reported each day, including hundreds of instances of pickpocketing.

While pickpocketing overall was down by 3.6 percent compared to last year, there were still 173,000 reported incidents.

The northern cities of Rimini (1071 crimes reported per 100,000 inhabitants), Bologna (876) and Milan (800) had the most light-fingered thieves, while the Sardinian town of Oristano saw just 18 pockets picked per 100,000 inhabitants.

Increased pickpocketing in some cities

Rimini might lay claim to the highest number of pickpockets, but it was Parma which saw the biggest year-on-year increase in the crime, at 26 percent.

Other cities bucking the trend, with increased incidence of pickpocketing, were Pisa (15 percent), Modena (13 percent) and Naples (11 percent).

Naples also came on top for more violent forms of theft. The southern city reported 195 armed robberies per 100,000 inhabitants, a rate more than trip the national average, while its rate of bag snatching was almost as high.

Although the majority of types of crimes saw a decline, a few had increased since 2014; online scams and fraud were up by 8.8 percent compared to 2014, while extortion had risen by 20 percent.

Overall, Oristano came out as the safest place in Italy, with  the fewest crimes reported per 100,000 inhabitants. It was followed by Pordenone in northeast Italy and Rieti in the centre of the country.

At the other end of the scale, Rimini, Milan, Bologna and Turin saw the most crimes reported, with the capital Rome coming in fifth.

READ MORE: Typical pickpocket scams revealed

Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed

Photo: FCO

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Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.