One and a half billion euros for the contractual renewals of uniformed personnel and a package of rules that introduces new crimes and aggravates the penalties for others: ranging from fraud on the elderly to riots in the CPR, from attacks on the police forces to roadblocks, from pickpocketing to the expansion of guarantees for intelligence for anti-terrorism purposes.
The crackdown is contained in a bill approved today by the Council of Ministers, while in the morning the Prime Minister received the police unions and the Cocers of the armed forces at Palazzo Chigi to illustrate the budget allocations which will determine an average increase in wages by 5.8%. In the end, Meloni said she was “proud” of the approved measures and thanked the union representatives: “Without security there is no freedom, there is no social protection, there is no economic growth”, she underlined. Criticism from the opposition: “The only instinct they have is the security one, that of increasing penalties and scaring the country”, said Francesco Boccia (Pd).
Among the most discussed rules and for which mediation has been reached between ministers is the one that makes the postponement of the execution of the sentence for women convicted when they are pregnant or are mothers of children no longer mandatory but optional. up to three years. Postponement may be excluded if it results in a situation of danger, of exceptional relevance, or of the commission of further crimes. In an initial formulation it was foreseen that the postponement of execution was excluded. The possibility is foreseen that the sentence may be served in institutions with attenuated custody for detained mothers, without prejudice to the prohibition of prison for pregnant women and mothers of younger children (up to one year of age).
The rationale, explained the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, is to intervene in the cases of “pickpockets” on public transport or in stations: that is, “the phenomenon of the use of the condition of maternity as an exemption in the event of the commission of a crime “. Also against pickpocketing, the police commissioner can prohibit access to the metro, stations and ports to anyone who has already been for crimes committed in those places. A rule is then introduced to punish those who induce a minor under 16 to beg.
A new crime also punishes those who organize or participate in a riot in a prison with acts of violence, threats or other dangerous conduct. The punishment is from 2 to 8 years for those who organize the revolt and from 1 to 5 years for those who participate. On the other hand, anyone who promotes and directs a revolt even in a reception center for migrants risks 2 to 6 years. In the past, Piantedosi recalled, the structures were often the scene of fires and acts that put the safety of the people detained at risk.
Another crime introduced: “possession of material for terrorist purposes”. Punishes, with imprisonment from 2 to 6 years, anyone who procures or possesses material aimed at preparing acts of terrorism and provides for imprisonment from 6 months to 4 years for anyone who distributes, disseminates or advertises material containing instructions for the preparation and use of explosive materials, in order to attack public safety.
There is therefore a fight against illegal occupations with, also in this case, a new crime which punishes with imprisonment from 2 to 7 years anyone who, with violence or threats, occupies or holds another’s property without title, or in any case prevents the return in the property of the owner or the person who held it.
Furthermore, there is a crackdown on scams targeting the elderly, with an increase in the prison sentence from 2 to 6 years and the possibility of proceeding with arrest in flagrante delicto.
Security officers are authorized to possess a private firearm other than an official one, which is usually much heavier and more inconvenient to carry around. Another recurring phenomenon that the government wants to target is that of ‘heavy’ road blocks, such as those organized by Extinction Rebellion activists. Anyone who prevents free circulation on ordinary roads by obstructing them with their body is currently punished with an administrative fine. The approved provision establishes that this case becomes a crime when it is “particularly offensive and alarming, both due to the presence of more people and the fact that it was promoted and organized in advance”.
The package also includes an article that strengthens the prerogatives of intelligence. In particular – we read in a draft of the provision – intelligence infiltrators (or their sources) at the top of terrorist organizations will be covered by functional guarantees (i.e. they will not be punishable for the crimes they commit). This is because information such as the planning of an attack, for example, can only be acquired by top exponents of the terrorist group.
The 007s are then allowed to testify “at every stage and level of the proceedings” using cover details, when it is necessary to keep their real identity secret in the interest of the security of the Republic or to protect their safety.
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