There are rarely (if any) displays of public drunkenness in Italy or violent street crime. However there is organised crime – from the Sicilian Mafia and Neapolitan Camorra to high-level corporate crime, but these rarely have an impact on the ordinary visitor to Italy. Domestic violence is the most widely reported violent crime in Italy.
Petty car crimes often take place near beaches and areas where many tourists will park near sightseeing attractions. Avoid this happening to you by keeping your valuables out of sight and do not leave belongings on the seats.
Pickpockets are a problem, especially when tourists are ambling around busy shops that they haven’t seen before and don’t realise that someone casually bumping into them may have just ripped open their bag and gone off with their purse or wallet. Pickpockets often work in pairs or sometimes even in groups and while one of them distracts you, another is in the process of taking your wallet or purse. You are usually not aware of this happening until it is too late.
Some tricks that the pickpockets use are;
* One of the pickpockets throws something at the victim, a second thief assists them in cleaning up the mess, and the third discreetly takes the victim’s belongings.
* This trick is usually carried out on public transport; one of the pickpockets sit beside you and then discreetly uses a pocket knife to slit the bottom of the victim’s bag walk off with the contents.
* Separate your money from your credit cards/passport – try and keep them in different places.
* Wear a handbag with a strap short enough to tuck firmly under your arm, but not long enough to dangle freely from your shoulder, or if carrying a small rucksack, wear it around the front of your body instead of on your back, keeping a firm grip of it at all times.
* Ensure that zips on bags are round as far as they can go (preferably nearest to your hand as possible) and tucked under the material (normally on rucksacks). You need to be aware of being in shops as sometimes pickpockets follow you in and can discreetly open the zip on your bag (especially rucksacks) whilst you are completely oblivious.