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Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni

The Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni (Postal and Communications Police) is one of the units of the Polizia di Stato, the State Police of Italy. Its functions include the investigation of cybercrime.

Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni
Common name(in Italian) la Postale
Agency overview
1998 (as Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni)
Jurisdictional structure
National agencyItaly
Operations jurisdictionItaly

Parent agencyPolizia di Stato
Child agencies
  • Centro nazionale anticrimine informatico per la protezione delle infrastrutture critiche
  • Unità di analisi sul crimine informatico
  • Centro nazionale per il contrasto alla pedopornografia sulla rete
Patrol cars
Significant operation(s)
Polizia postale e delle comunicazioni



PolTel has been created in 1981 as a special department of the Polizia di Stato in order to ensure safety, prevention and the repression of crimes on the field of the Italian Ministry of mail and telecommunications. Initially, it oversaw postal offices and protected armoured trucks during operations of valuables transport. The personnel was active in vigilance services for money and valuables transport operated by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, along with the railroad police (Polfer). After a privatization process in Italy and the foundation of Poste Italiane S.p.A. in 1998, the police service has been renamed in "Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni".

Following the reform of the public security administration, the Postal and Communications Police has become a cutting-edge "special division" of the State Police against cybercrimes, respecting the constitutional values of privacy and freedom.[1]


The interministerial decree issued on 19 January 1999 describes the postal police as the "central body of the Ministry of the Interior for its security and the telecommunications services regularity":[2]

  • The postal and communications police service, with its headquarters in Rome, co-ordinates 20 divisions located in every regional administrative centre (like Milan, Florence, Naples, etc.), except for the Aosta Valley which belongs to Turin's department. Sicily is divided in two departments with their headquarters located in Palermo (Sicilia Occidentale) and Catania (Sicilia Orientale)
  • The departments have regional competence and generally they are directed by a First executive of the State Police. Departments coordinate in turn the sections inside their territory
  • There are 76 sections of PolTel and each of them has provincial competence, under the direction of Inspectors.


PolTel represents the branch of the Italian Police specialized in prevention, control and repression of all the penal and administrative crimes belonging to the communication field, criminal activities on the internet and cybercrime in general. According to the law, it has an exclusive on struggling against online child pornography. PolTel operates closely with the Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni (AGCOM) and the regional communication inspectorates of the Ministry of Economic Development. PolTel has signed agreements with agencies and companies as Poste Italiane, Associazione Bancaria Italiana, GSE S.p.a (Gestore dei servizi energetici), Ferrovie dello Stato, hospitals, etc.

PolTel performs judicial investigation for all the cybercrimes added by time into the Italian penal code, and for all crimes committed through more recent IT. Judicial police activity is not exclusively a web-intelligence one (monitoring chat lines, newsgroup, social network, etc), but it is also competent in: hacking (intrusions, computer damages), telephony (fixed and mobile, VoIP), privacy, eventually author's rights and copyright (videos, music, pay-tv), e-commerce, surveillance over radio and TV frequencies, frauds related to home banking, political subversion, terrorism, illegal trades of drugs, weapons and explosives, or every traditional crime that have a computer as a target or medium.

High competence on cybercrimesEdit

Ministry of Interior's decree issued in 28 April 2006 says that:[3]

In the context of its institutional duties, the postal and communication Police Service of the State Police carries out intelligence activities for prevention and contrast to the use and forgery of the means of payment, a field with immediate effects on the e-commerce and where the investigative attention of speciality sectors is focused on software and hardware technologies used to understand, replicate and employ identities, codes and credit card for electronic transactions.

Competences of every Police force, including PolTel, has been revised by the Minniti Decree of 15 August 2017, which defines:[4]

The modalities of exercise, primarily or exclusively, belonging to the State Police, the Carabinieri Corps and the Financial Guard Corps, and of the institutional tasks in the respective specialty sectors are defined by Article 2, paragraph 1 of the legislative decree n. 177 of 19 August 2016.

PolTel is also engaging in investigations to prevent and counteract copyright violations which can be performed online, cooperating with other Italian Police forces and in particular with Guardia di Finanza according to the art. 2, paragraph 2, letter l of the legislative decree n. 68 of 2001.[5] The special Police department guarantees also the general integrity and functionality of the computer network, including the protection of critical infrastructures managed with IT systems and of all national strategic assets. PolTel controls the security and regularity of the telecommunication services and contrasts online child pornography, according to the art. 7-bis of the decree-law n. 144 of 27 July 2005[6] converted with modifications by law n. 155 of 31 July 2005,[7] where are described the tasks of the Centro nazionale anticrimine informatico per la protezione delle infrastrutture critiche (CNAIPIC), and according to art. 19 of law n. 38 of 6 February 2006, n. 38.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Polizia Postale: Presentazione" (in Italian).
  2. ^ "Polizia Postale: Storia". Commissariato di P. S. (in Italian). Il Servizio polizia postale e delle comunicazioni viene indicato quale organo centrale del ministero dell'Interno per la sicurezza e la regolarità dei servizi di telecomunicazioni.
  3. ^ "DECRETO 28 aprile 2006 - Riassetto dei comparti di specialità delle Forze di polizia". Ministero dell'Interno (in Italian). 2006-04-28. Il Servizio polizia postale e delle comunicazioni della Polizia di Stato nell'ambito dei propri compiti istituzionali svolge attività di intelligence per la prevenzione ed il contrasto dell'utilizzo e della contraffazione di mezzi di pagamento, settore che ha immediati riflessi sul commercio elettronico e nel quale l'attenzione investigativa del comparto di specialità é incentrata sulle tecnologie software o hardware impiegate per carpire, riprodurre e utilizzare identità, codici e carte di pagamento in transazioni elettroniche.
  4. ^ "D.M. 15.08.2017" (PDF) (in Italian). Il presente decreto stabilisce le modalità di esercizio, in via preminente o esclusiva, da parte della Polizia di Stato, dell'Arma dei carabinieri e del Corpo della guardia di finanza, dei compiti istituzionali nei rispettivi comparti di specialità definiti dall'articolo 2, comma 1, del decreto legislativo 19 agosto 2016, n. 177.
  5. ^ "DECRETO LEGISLATIVO 19 marzo 2001, n. 68". Normattiva (in Italian). 2001-03-19.
  6. ^ "DECRETO-LEGGE 27 luglio 2005, n. 144". Normattiva (in Italian).
  7. ^ "LEGGE 31 luglio 2005, n. 155". Normattiva (in Italian).
  8. ^ "LEGGE 6 febbraio 2006, n. 38". Normattiva (in Italian).

External linksEdit