Archive for Polizia di Stato

Italian police: more flavors, further inefficiency

Posted in Paradoxes, Politics, Stupidity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Jun 23, 2008 by Cicero

Some time ago I’ve posted some comments about Italian police. Quite frankly, I was surprised with so much interest. So, I decided to further explore this subject. And, as I expected, I found even more funny stuff. I mean, Italy is an unlimited source of stupidity.

After my research, the conclusion was: Italian police organization is so arcane, that it does not operate properly. Not even by accident.

Like I posted before, there are five (!) national police branches in Italy. But each police force is under the authority of a different minister. And as Italy has a weak parliamentary system, each minister can be from a different party or group. One does not need to be brilliant to conclude that coordination among the Italian police forces is remarkably complex, maybe impossible.

Currently, there are:

  • Polizia di Stato, under the Ministero dell’Interno.
  • Carabinieri, under the Ministero della Difesa.
  • Guardia di Finanza is under the Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze.
  • Polizia Penitenziaria, under the Ministro della Giustizia.
  • Corpo Forestale dello Stato is under the Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare.

The Ministero dell’Interno is under the fascist party Lega Nord Padania, all the others under the party Il Popolo della Libertà.

This structure is the best expression of Italy’s savoir-faire: nothing makes sense, neither works properly. Five overlapping and non-coordinated police forces, all with military organization, to deal with civilian duties.

To make things even worse, each police force is further divided into specialized divisions, generating more overlaps and more confusion. For instance, within the Polizia di Stato, among other divisions, there are:

  • Polizia Stradale: patrols the highway system;
  • Polizia Ferroviaria: patrols the railroad system;
  • Polizia Postale: assures the letters and telegrams behave well!

The overlaps are so huge and the waste of resources is so obvious that only in Italy such arrangement could exist. Just to illustrate, the Guardia di Finanza has a naval branch (!), which obviously overlaps with Italian Coast Guard.

Here there are the sailors (!) from Guardia di Finanza:

Naval branch from Guardia di Finanza

And here their ships:

Fastboats from Guarda di Finanza

By the way, here, a fashion police force needs to have boats (in the order, Polizia di Stato, Carabinieri, Guardia di Finanza and Polizia Penitenziaria):

Boat from Polizia di StatoBoat from Carabinieri
Boat from Guarda di FinanzaBoat from Polizia Penitenziaria

Everyone who understands a bit about organization management, recognizes that having similar structures dealing with similar problems, it is a waste of resources. More than that, those similar structures tend to compete with each other, instead of to collaborate. Without an unified command and control, Italian police forces will never work in a coordinated way.

With so many specialized police branches, I wonder why there is no police branch dedicated to fight Mafia.

Italian police: choose your flavor

Posted in Daily Life, Paradoxes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Jun 07, 2008 by Cicero

To a foreigner it is hard to understand how police works in Italy. There are five branches of national police, all of them uniformed and armed. Sometimes it seems we live under martial law, such a number of uniformed people on the streets.

Here you can find:

  • Polizia di Stato: federal police, mostly uniformed and always armed.
  • Carabinieri: military police, in uniform and with guns,directly involved into civil policing duties.
  • Guardia di Finanza: customs police, uniformed and armed, normally involved into white collar crimes. Imagine people from IRS with guns. You got it!
  • Polizia Penitenziaria: police used at the prisons (!!!)
  • Corpo Forestale dello Stato: national forest police (!!!)

Besides those national organizations, there are Polizia Provinciale (state police, somehow), Polizia Regionale (another kind of state police) and Polizia Locale (city police).

Each of those organization has its particular uniform and colors. And each police officer is allowed to ask for your ID anytime he wants to. So, there is always an oppressive atmosphere in Italy, strengthened after the recent elections, when Lega Nord, a fascist party, won most part of the power in Italy.

So, in Italy, if you are a foreigner, you are a potential target to an offensive treatment. If you are not from EU, it is even worse. If you are black, be prepared to be treated without any respect. Seems like a fascist or racist country? Maybe sounds funny. But living here you can feel the fascism rebirth.

Just for curiosity sake, the image below show how a Carabinieri uniform is similar to a SS Nazi uniform. It is amazing how the cap is almost identical. Fascist Italy again?

Carabinieri uniform versus SS one

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