The Italian Forum, the national association of Italian local authorities and the association Avviso Publico sign a pact of collaboration against organised crime

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Bologna, Italy, 20 March 2013 – The Italian Forum for Urban Security (FISU) the National Association of Italian local authorities (ANCI), and the association Avviso Pubblico, which promotes the training of civil servants in fighting the Mafia and a “culture of legality” in the public administration, signed a pact of collaboration to increase the fight against organised crime during a meeting held in Bologna on 20 March 2013. The three organisations will work together, coordinating a series of activities, analyses, research and training programmes against organised crime, and elaborating new proposals and recommendations for citizen security.

In addition to promoting transparency in public bodies, the new collaboration will coordinate a training course for municipal police officers and other civil servants on urban security, crime prevention, and reinforcing the law, particularly regarding the regulation of the use of seized mafia assets, as per the legislation introduced in 2011 (called the Codice antimafia).

Flavio Zanonato, the ANCI delegate for security, stressed the need for collaboration, warning that a healthy and booming economy can become “polluted”. He explained the importance of exchanging and sharing all knowledge on the fight against crime, using good practices, training officers and changing public opinion.

The president of FISU, Giorgio Pighi, emphasised the importance of preventative policies to fight organised crime in all its outlets and repair the damage that it has already caused.

Andrea Campinoti, the president of Avviso Pubblico and mayor of Certaldo, added that the pact will increase the efficiency of public administration in the fight against the Mafia. It will increase the capacity of analysis and policy development and ensure that civil servants are no longer alone on the front line, which is essential. He emphasised the risks that civil servants also face in central northern Italy in the fight against mafia infiltration. Mr Pighi added that punitive action is not sufficient; he stressed the importance of knowing on which criteria the Mafia chooses the businesses they infiltrate and how authorities can identify such businesses.

Simonette Saliera, Vice President of the Emilia Romagna region in charge of security, emphasised that this pact was signed the day before the commemoration of the victims of the Mafia, on 21 March. She added that the day would also be the occasion to “celebrate the culture of legality”, a theme that the region of Emilia Romagna considers a priority.

Italian authorities are concerned by the rise of Mafia activities in northern Italy, which is fuelled in part by the economic crisis and high level of unemployment. In addition, the Mafia have diversified away from their traditional strongholds – drugs, prostitution and gambling –  and target mainstream economic sectors. The FISU, ANCI and Avviso Publico call for city councils to do more to fight the Mafia and stress the importance of providing adequate training to civil servants so they can identify better mafia activities.