Petty theft in Rome

That Rome is a place where you have to be careful of your passport and credit cards is nothing new. The notoriety of the 64 bus, which many tourists use to get from the main railway station to the Vatican, is a classic piece of information in all guide books to the Eternal City.

But this year pickpocketing seems to be worse than usual, probably because of the difficult economic situation.

So the British consul in Rome, David Broomfield, decided to warn nationals to be careful in an official notice on the Foreign Office website, based in part on reports in the Italian media itself.

This has upset Rome's mayor, Ignazio Marino, and several English newspapers, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and The Times have reported that Marino has reacted angrily.

Perhaps the English newspapers don't know how easy it is to suffer the same fate in London.

The only time I have been robbed of my British passport was on London's 19 bus, guess where...in Piccadilly. And I have only been burgled twice in my life, once when I lived in London, when my apartment was turned upside down, and the second time when I was staying at a London hotel.

Perhaps this sort of theft is so common in London that the Italian consul wouldn't even think of mentioning it, and the mayor, Boris Johnson, certainly wouldn't bother to react.

Mary Wilsey