Italian police: choose your flavor
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?