Public disorder in Rome’s summer heat

Over recent nights there have been a number of high-profile incidents on Rome's streets, some of them involving tourists and foreigners. In the early morning of 11 July a 22-year old Australian woman was found suffering from a severe haemorrhage on a street near Termini Station. A Tunisian man, who organised an illegal "pub crawl" in which the woman and her four female Australian friends had participated earlier that night, is now under investigation for rape. The woman has told authorities that sex was with her consent but the medics and psychologists who examined her believe she was raped. Police maintain that the level of alcohol in her blood was so high that she would have been incapable of “consent” in the conventional meaning of the word. Separately, at 03.00 on 12 July, four tourists were arrested after brawling in Campo de' Fiori, the scene of growing public disorder in recent years. Rome police charged three English men aged 20, 25 and 30, and one American aged 22, with rioting. Meanwhile during the same night, six youths, four of them minors, were arrested in Testaccio for violently attacking a passerby. After the man managed to take refuge in a nearby bar, the youths began vandalising the property before fleeing. Following witnesses' descriptions, police caught the assailants who were aged 16 to 20. The incidents follow the city’s introduction of olfactory sensors into the 14 security cameras in the area around Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere. When these "electronic noses" detect a high concentration of drugs and alcohol, police stations are alerted by an alarm system connected to the cameras. The pilot project is expected to be extended into other areas synonymous with nightlife such as Campo de 'Fiori, Piazza dell' Immacolata in S. Lorenzo, Piazza della Madonna dei Monti in the Monti district, and the Colosseum end of Via S. Giovanni in Laterano.