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Italy 2017 Crime & Safety Report: Naples

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Overall Crime and Safety Situation

U.S. Consulate Naples does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The ACS Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED NAPLES AS BEING A MEDIUM-THREAT LOCATION FOR CRIME DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Please review OSAC’s Italy-specific webpage for proprietary analytic reports, Consular Messages, and contact information.

Crime Threats

American visitors are generally safe and are not singled out/targeted based on nationality. However, tourists and foreigners may be targeted for petty theft. Most street crimes tend to be non-violent and directed toward obtaining property (purse snatching, pickpocketing, residential/vehicle break-ins). The Centro Storico (city center) has the highest incidence of these types of crimes. The center of Naples -- Piazza Garibaldi (the central train station), Centro Storico, Quartieri Spagnoli -- are noted for petty crimes, although serious crimes can and do occur. Watch thefts, purse snatchings, and pickpocketing are the most frequent forms of crime reported in the area, and these incidents are especially common in the summer. There have been several purse snatchings and vehicle break-ins reported by Consulate employees. Subways, buses, and trams are lucrative hunting grounds for pickpockets, as the numbers of tourists, coupled with the close proximity and jostling of passengers, makes their actions easier. A review of Consulate Naples’ security and consular files revealed that in 2016, over 300 American passports were stolen from visitors to southern Italy.

Criminals at Piazza Garibaldi use diversion techniques. One common example involves criminals who ask for directions; while a victim is offering assistance, another criminal covertly takes a piece of luggage. Other techniques may involve a thief intentionally spilling mustard, yogurt, or soda on the victim and then apologizing profusely and helping the victim clean up while an accomplice is relieving the victim of valuables. Thieves offer assistance to a person struggling with baggage, picking up one of the bags and disappearing into the crowd. Use extra caution in/around train stations. The large crowds and chaotic atmosphere provide an ideal environment for criminals.

Piazza del Gesu, a large piazza in southern Naples, is an area where physical altercations are most prevalent during late evening/early morning hours. The piazza has many bars, which close at the same time and spill patrons into the piazza. The combination of excessive amounts of alcohol, bravado, and cultural differences make minor fights fairly frequent.

Dress conservatively. If you normally carry a wallet, put it in a front pocket and put your hand in your pocket to hold onto it. If you carry a purse/bag, carry it in front of you, block access to the sides with your arms, and ensure it is closed. Do not leave your purse/bag over the back of your chair at a restaurant, watch that no one kicks your bag/purse out from under your table at a restaurant, and be particularly vigilant of where you place your belongings when at a sidewalk café.

House burglaries do occur and are frequently reported by U.S. military members living in the Lago Patria and Pozzuoli areas.

Moving trucks continue to be a particularly attractive target for thefts. Perpetrators also target rental cars. One particular method employed by criminals is to block a vehicle with a scooter while an accomplice sneaks up and snatches valuables through open windows or unlocked car door.

Car thieves prefer the areas outside of the city center and the outskirts that tend to have less of a police presence.

Organized crime groups (Camorra, Ndrangheta, Cosa Nostra, Sacra Corona Unita) are active and maintain a presence in southern Italy. Consult with credible local experts and local law enforcement to ensure your business interests are not impacted, infiltrated by, or inadvertently doing business with a criminal organization.

Violent street crime is rare.

Other Areas of Concern

Visitors are advised to exercise heightened security awareness while visiting public parks, especially after dark. While they are attractive locations for exercise, in twilight/evening, it is a good idea to travel with another person or with a group. Do not venture down isolated or dark alleyways.

The areas around the ruins in Pompei and Ercolano in the Vesuvio area outside of Naples have been reported to have late-night crimes in which a victim is befriended by strangers (typically in a bar or in a public park setting) offering drug-laced drinks designed to render the victim unconscious. The victim is robbed, sometimes physically assaulted, and often needs to be hospitalized. Many victims wake up, often in a nearby park, with little /no recollection of events.

Transportation-Safety Situation

Road Safety and Road Conditions

Driving is not only stressful but is also dangerous. Traffic laws are rarely followed. Enforcement by local traffic officials is limited and ineffective. Scooters/motorcycles generally do not follow the rules of the road and often use the sidewalks to get around vehicles. Mountain roads outside of Naples are vulnerable to rock and mudslides. For more information on self-driving, please review OSAC’s Report “Driving Overseas: Best Practices.”

When going through traffic areas with stop lights, vehicles should always be locked and windows rolled up. Be cautious if flagged down to indicate a flat tire. Drive to the nearest attended gas station before stopping.

If an individual is involved in a traffic accident, below are suggested actions:

Car Accident with Injuries: Call 118 to inform the dispatcher of your location, details regarding injuries, and the accident. Wait for emergency services to arrive. They will provide care and transport of the injured, reestablish traffic flow, and complete an accident report form. Note the name and destination of any injured persons to be transported by ambulance from the scene. A police report will be helpful in this regard. Do not sign any documents that either are not clearly understood or do not conform to your grasp of the factors surrounding the accident.

Car Accident without Injuries and No Agreement on the Facts Relating to the Accident: Call the police or Carabinieri (113), or Vigili Urbani 081-7513177 (Naples). If vehicles are blocking traffic, Italian law requires the vehicles to be moved if possible. Before moving your vehicle, document the position of the vehicle by any means possible. Extensive photographs can help but should not be considered the sole source of evidence. Search for skid marks, broken glass, debris, or any other evidence that may help in determining the facts of the accident. Take photographs of all damage to both vehicles and pay particular attention to any pre-existing damage. Try to establish a third-party witness. Even if it is another motorist who cannot wait for the police to arrive, obtain names and phone numbers of witnesses who can be contacted by the police. Witness fabrication is not uncommon. There have been reported cases of family members acting as witnesses to accident scenes who were not actually present. Wait for the authorities to arrive. They will document the accident scene, take statements from all parties/witnesses, and fill out the accident report.

Car Accident without Injuries and Agreement on the Facts Relating to the Accident: If vehicles are blocking traffic, Italian law requires the vehicles to be moved if possible. Before moving your vehicle, document the position of the vehicle. Wait for the police to arrive and document the incident. Mark the four corners of the involved vehicles on the ground via any means possible. Extensive photographs can help but should not be considered the sole source of evidence. Search for skid marks, broken glass, debris, or any other evidence that may help in determining the actual facts relating to the accident. Take photographs of all damage to both vehicles and pay particular attention to any pre-existing damage. Complete the Constatazione Amichevole di Incidente Automobilistico (Agreed Statement of Facts on Motor Vehicle Accident). Give a copy to each party. Do not sign the completed form if there is disagreement regarding the version/sequence of events represented. Contact your insurance company; obtain guidance on how to send them the Constatazione Amichevole id Incidente Automobilistico and inquire about steps regarding damages/related expenses.

Public Transportation Conditions

Taxis or public transportation are recommended for those who do not have experience driving in Naples. Only use licensed taxis. Make sure a taxi has a meter and that the driver activates it upon departure. All authorized taxis are white and have meters. Do not use a private unlicensed car services.

Other Travel Conditions

Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way and must be very careful when crossing the road even in approved crosswalks.

Terrorism Threat

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED NAPLES AS BEING A MEDIUM-THREAT LOCATION FOR TERRORIST ACTIVITY DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Local, Regional, and International Terrorism Threats/Concerns

Information as of January 2017 suggests that ISIL and other terrorist affiliates continue to plan attacks against U.S. and Western interests in Europe. Terrorist attacks in Europe have increased, and there is a continuing threat of attacks from unaffiliated persons (lone wolf attackers). While European governments have taken action to guard against terrorist attacks, preventing lone wolf attacks is next to impossible. Italy’s concerns for terrorism are exacerbated by its proximity to North Africa and the Middle East. Italy has figured prominently in the rhetoric of ISIL, al-Qa’ida, and al-Shabaab. Italy also faces several indigenous terrorist groups and radical elements (left-wing, anarchist movements). Government institutions and diplomatic facilities have received bomb threats and actual explosive devices. Buildings/offices are sometimes the targets of firebombs or Molotov cocktails, although generally at night; such incidents are instigated by organized crime or anarchist movements.

Italy has a robust counter-terrorism program and is actively monitoring known/suspected foreign fighters and terrorists and has been aggressively deporting known extremists.

Anti-American/Anti-Western Sentiment

Anti-American rhetoric comes from small groups opposing specific (Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite communications system).

Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED NAPLES AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Civil Unrest

Public demonstrations happen frequently. Some factions (anti-TAV, anti-MUOS, anti-globalization, anti-EU, anti-GM) have organized protests that have turned violent. Concern remains that these groups could use demonstrations to target U.S. government facilities and businesses. All demonstrations must have a valid permit and be approved by local police, though non-approved demonstrations have occurred in places like Palermo. Usually, demonstrations are well-controlled and under the tight supervision of the police. These events should be avoided because hostile elements within the crowds can escalate the situation. Large crowds are also attractive targets for pickpockets. Typically, there are four common locations for these demonstrations: Italian companies (labor disputes), U.S. Consulate and Consular Agency (anti-U.S. foreign policy or other), Piazza Del Plebliscito, and regional/city hall buildings.

Post-specific Concerns

Environmental Hazards

Earthquakes are endemic to this region. The Department of State’s Overseas Buildings Operations Bureau rates Naples as a Level 2B (moderate) seismically active area. Naples experienced tremors in 2016 and also in 2013. Many buildings/infrastructure are old and not well-maintained; a mild but longer-lasting earthquake could result in significant damage and potential for injury and death. The center of Naples is connected to the rest of the region by tunnels and skyways that, if damaged, could block emergency exit from the city, leaving only the bay as a viable escape route.

The potential for a tsunami following an earthquake is a possibility and should be included as part of emergency crisis planning.

Floods occasionally occur during the winter when heavy rains and melting snow cause local rivers to swell beyond the flood plain. Coastal and mountain roads can become precarious, especially during periods of rain/snow.

Critical Infrastructure

The disruption of critical infrastructure response services after a catastrophic event is extremely likely, so it is very important to formulate a personal plan for such situations.

Economic Concerns

Avoid street vendors selling knock-off designer products; you may face a fine of up to several thousand Euros by the local police, not to mention the personal embarrassment and political fallout that may result from your illegal actions.

Police Response

Police response and services are generally good but can vary depending on the service area.

Crime Victim Assistance

Military Police, (Carabinieri): 112

Police, Naples (Polizia di Stato): 113

Fire Department, Naples (Vigili del Fuoco): 115

Ambulance, Naples, (first aid only): 118

U.S. citizens can reach U.S. Consulate Naples by dialing (+39) 081.583.8111.

Police/Security Agencies

The Polizia di Stato (state police) and the Carabinieri (military police with Italy-wide law enforcement powers and jurisdiction) are well-trained and equipped. These two security groups offer a full range of police services, though resource constraints can impact the way they carry out their duties.

Medical Emergencies

Contact Information for Available Medical Services

Azienda Ospedaliera Di Rileivo Nazionale A Cardarelli

            9, v. Cardarelli - 80131 Napoli (NA) |

            Tel: 081- 7471111

 

Policlinico Seconda Universita Di Napoli

            Largo Madonna Delle Grazie 1 - 80138 Napoli (NA)

            Tel: 800 56 72 66

 

Ospedale Santobono (children’s hospital)

            Napoli(NA) 80123

            Via Mario Fiore n°6

            Tel: 081 220 5355

Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance

The CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for Italy.

OSAC Country Council Information

There is currently no active Country Council in Naples. Please contact OSAC’s Europe team if you are interested in private-sector engagement in Italy or have questions about OSAC’s Country Council programs.

U.S. Consulate Location and Contact Information

Consulate Address and Hours of Operation

Consulate General-Naples
Piazza della Repubblica
80122 Naples, Italy

The U.S. Citizen Services Section in Naples is open by appointment and for emergency services Mon-Fri (excluding American and Italian national holidays) from 0800-1200.

Consulate Contact Numbers

American Citizens Emergencies Only: +39 081 5838 111

Non-Emergency inquiries e-mail to: USCitizensNaples@state.gov

Regional Security Office: (39) 081-583-8266

Consulate Operator: (39) 081-5838-111

Marine Post One: (39) 081-583-8208

Website: http://naples.usconsulate.gov/index.html.

Nearby Posts

Embassy Rome: http://italy.usembassy.gov/

Consulate Florence: http://florence.usconsulate.gov/

Consulate Milan: http://milan.usconsulate.gov/

Virtual Presence Post San Marino: http://sanmarino.usvpp.gov/

Consulate Guidance

To obtain updated travel information U.S. citizens should enroll with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  

Additional Resources

Italy Country Information Sheet