Municipal police (Italy)
Some municipal police forces in Italy trace historical origins to the vigili urbani and comes stabili of ancient Rome. Urban policing emerged in the 13th to 14th centuries in the Italian comunes (such as Bologna); although police forces have been assumed to be a modern innovation, these medieval forces had some similarities to modern police forces. Today, Italian municipal forces go by various names, such as polizia communa (comune police), policia urbana (urban police), and polizia locale (local police).
The central functions of municipal police are administrative in character, including traffic control and responsibilities relating to licenses and urban regulations. The municipal police also serve as auxiliaries to security police forces and have responsibilities for local crime prevention and community policing. The competence (jurisdiction) of municipal police are limited to their specific municipality. Prior to the 1990s, municipal policing in Italy has a marginal role and was viewed as low-level in comparison to the Carabinieri, Polizia di Stato, and other police forces; since that time, the strength and reputation of the municipal policy has been enhanced, particularly in central and northern Italy. There are roughly 60,000 municipal police officers in Italy; since 2011, the Italian regions have been exclusively responsible for coordinating, organizing, and training municipal police.
- Daniel Donnelly, Municipal Policing in the European Union: Comparative Perspectives (2013), p. 34.
- Gregory Roberts, Police Power in the Italian Communes, 1228-1326 (Amsterdam University Press, 2019).
- Daniel Donnelly, Municipal Policing in the European Union: Comparative Perspectives (2013), pp. 4, 34.
- Elke Devroe & Paul Ponsaers, "European national police systems and metropolitan realities" in Policing European Metropolises: The Politics of Security in City-Regions (eds. Elke Devroe, Adam Edwards & Paul Ponsaers: Routledge, 2017), pp. 32-33.
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