This country profile was migrated from the legacy system and the new text is under consideration of the respective government authorities.

Policing overview: The main policing entities are the National Police (Polizia di Stato), the Carabinieri (Arma dei Carabinieri), the Financial Crime Investigation Unit (Guardia di Finanza) and the Penitentiary Police Corps (Polizia Penitenziaria). Some provinces also operate a local Provincial Police (Polizia Provinciale) or Municipal Police (Polizia Municipale).

National Police

1. General information
The headquarters of the National Police (Polizia di Stato or Polizia Statale) is located in Rome, and there are regional and provincial divisions throughout Italy. This is a civil police service, in contrast to the other police services in Italy.

2. Functions and missions
The National Police provides general police services in Italy, such as patrolling of highways, railways and certain waterways, as well as assisting the local police. Every major Italian town or city has a main police station (Questura) run by the National Police.

3. Structure and organization
The Minister of the Interior is the national authority responsible for public order and security maintenance. In this capacity, the Minister is supported by the Public Order and Security Committee, an advisory body consisting of the Chief of Police (Director General of Public Security) and the heads of the other police services. Public Security Administration is exercised, at central level, by the Public Security Department and by provincial and local authorities, public security officials and officers at local level:

  • The Public Security Department is headed by a Prefect, with the rank of Police Chief, appointed by the President of the Republic based on proposals from the Minister of the Interior and by decision of the Council of Ministers. Tasks of the Public Security Department include: implementing public order and security policy; ensuring technical and operational co-ordination and harmonization of police services; managing the National Police; and providing technical support for the Ministry's overall needs. For an organization chart of the Public Security Department, please visit the Attachments section.
  • Provincial authorities include the Prefect, who is in charge of the Territorial Government Office and responsible for public order and security; and the Questore, a senior National Police official responsible for the management and co-ordination of services and police force employment.
  • Special Units include: mobile units, bomb technicians, sharpshooters, a canine unit, the mounted police, air service and nautical squads.
  • Another important operational sector of the National Police is represented by the specialties. About 24,000 staff, that is almost a quarter of the police personnel, work within the following services: Traffic Police, Railway Police, Postal and Telecommunications Police, Border and Immigration Police.

4. Staff data
In 2006, the number of Italian National Police personnel carrying out police functions amounted to approximately 110,000 persons with an additional 5,700 officers carrying out duties of a technical/scientific or purely technical nature.

5. Education / Training
The Central Directorate for Police Training Institutes, a branch of the Department of Public Security, is in charge of education management. There are different kinds of schools, ranging from basic training for cadet officers and technical operators to different police specialties schools. Then there are also schools for the qualification of instructors, pilots, dog handlers and mounted police officers, as well as the community police school aimed to foster knowledge and training modules to improve confidence and co-operation between citizens and the police.

The Police Academy, a higher educational institute established in 1982, deals with basic and continuing training, as well as the specialization of senior officers. 
There is another Multi-Agency Police Academy set up in 1981 that holds training and refresher courses for officers. From January 2001 onward, the Academy has been part of the project for the establishment of a European Police Academy in the frame-work of the development of common training programmes for all EU countries. 


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The Carabinieri

1. General information
The Carabinieri Corps (Arma dei Carabinieri) is a Police Corps with military status and with a general competence and responsibility for maintaining public order and a secure environment. As an Armed Force, the Corps reports directly to the Ministry of Defense with regard to military tasks – such as military police duties for other Armed Forces and security of Italian diplomatic missions abroad and to the Ministry of Interior for activities related to inland public order and security.

Founded in 1814, the Carabinieri Corps have in recent years been deployed in peacekeeping missions all over the world, including in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

2. Functions and missions 
The Carabinieri Corps is mandated to:

  • guarantee public order and protection of civilian and military assets;
  • carry out antiterrorist and anti organized crime investigations;
  • carry out military tasks in peacekeeping missions abroad;
  • provide security for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome and Diplomatic Missions and Embassies abroad;
  • ensure speedy operational reaction across the whole national territory through its airborne units;
  • conduct forensic investigations as requested by judicial authorities or by the Carabinieri Command;
  • protect public health by inspecting processing, sale and distribution of food and beverages;
  • prevent and combat all crime against cultural heritage;
  • prevent and combat the inland and cross-border issue and circulation of false currency; and
  • ensure that EU regulations in the agricultural and food sectors are respected.

3. Structure and organization
The Corps is headed by the General Command, which directs, coordinates and controls the whole range of activities: it consists of a General Commander, a Lieutenant General and the Head Quarters staff.

The Territorial Organization is the backbone of the Carabinieri’s activities: its presence on the territory comprises 5 Interregional Commands, 19 Regional Commands, 102 Provincial Commands, 18 Territorial Commands, 538 Companies, 41 Lieutenancy Commands, 4625 Stations and 2 airborne squadrons.

The Carabinieri Specialized and Mobile Units Command is composed of 3 major units: the ROS (Special Operations Group), the Mobile Units Division (which includes the Special Intervention Group/GIS for SWAT Operations) and the Specialized Units Divisions (in charge of economically, environmentally and socially sensitive issues).

4. Staff data
As of 2006, the total Carabinieri staff numbered about 112,200 units.

5. Education / Training
The Carabinieri’s Academies Central Command is located in Rome and it surveys and coordinates the activities of the Academies in Rome, Florence, Turin, Benevento and Reggio Calabria and of the Carabinieri Schools located in Rome, Turin, Campobasso, Iglesias and Fossano. General basic training and re-training is offered at different levels in all Academies and Schools, whereas specific education is offered in different locations in fields such as helicopter flight (Pratica di Mare), mountain rescue and operations (Selva di Val Gardena), underwater operations (Genua), K-9 units (Florence), horseback units (Rome), IT units (Velletri).

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Financial Crime Investigation Unit

1. General information
The Financial Crime Investigation Unit (Guardia di Finanza), an Italian police force directly under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance, is an integral part of the Italian armed forces, as well as of the law enforcement agencies. It is also a military corps.

2. Functions and missions
Current activities are of a financial, economic, judiciary and public safety nature: fighting tax evasion, financial crimes, smuggling, money laundering, international illegal drug trafficking, illegal immigration, customs and borders checks, copyright violations, credit card frauds, cyber crimes, money counterfeiting, terrorist financing, maintaining public order and safety, political and military defense of the Italian borders. The Financial Crime Investigation Unit also has some military police duties.

Special Departments include the: Organized Crime Investigation Group (GICO), Counter-Narcotics Group (GOA), Counter-Cybercrime Group (GAT) and Air-Naval Operational Command (ROAN).

3. Staff data
As of 2006, total staff numbered about 68,000.

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The Penitentiary Police Corps

1. General information
The Corps of Penitentiary Police was established by Law nr. 395 of December 15, 1990; it comes under the authority of the Ministry of Justice, Department of Penitentiary Administration. Its members have civilian status, and the Penitentiary Police is one of the five law enforcement agencies of the Italian Republic.

2. Functions and missions
The main functions of the Penitentiary Police Corps are to:

  • ensure the execution of provisions limiting personal freedom;
  • ensure order and security within prisons and other penal institutions;
  • participate in group-work activities for the observation and rehabilitation treatment of prisoners and inmates;
  • carry out the service of transport, escort and guarding (surveillance of hospitalized offenders) of prisoners and inmates;
  • carry out the service of protection and the security of persons belonging to the Central Administration of Justice.
  • It can be employed to carry out public order and security service, under the direction of the Prefect (Prefetto).

3. Staff data 
As of 2006, total staff numbered about 42,000.

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Criminal Justice System

1. General information
Jurisdiction over ordinary civil and criminal matters is exercised by magistrates belonging to the judicial order, which is divided into judges and magistrates of the public prosecutor's office, fulfilling the roles of judges and investigators respectively.

2. Prosecution
Italy's public prosecution service can be divided up as follows: 

  • Public Prosecutor based at the Court

  • Public Prosecutor at the Juvenile Court

  • General Public Prosecutor based at the Court of Appeals

  • General Public Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation.

The National and District Anti-Mafia Public Prosecutors are specific offices within the public prosecution service.

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