Rome installs cameras to combat drugs

Project to concentrate on Pigneto and S. Lorenzo

Rome is to install surveillance cameras in a bid to combat drug dealing in Pigneto and S. Lorenzo, districts which have seen growing protests by residents in recent months. Locals claim that drugs are rife in both areas which have become unsafe and run-down as a result of widespread drug dealing.

Rome's mayor Ignazio Marino has given in to pressure from the residents and has announced a security plan, based on the London model, which will see the installation of "anti-spaccio" CCTV (closed circuit television cameras) in both areas within 30 days. Marino said he was sick of being sent images every day showing "syringes stuck in flower pots and around trees".Both districts were included in the mayor's recent alcohol ban.

Rome also announced the installation of additional security cameras at the Stadio Olimpico following the football violence in May which resulted in the death of a Napoli supporter six weeks after being shot before the Italian Cup final.

The number of security cameras around Rome is in the thousands compared to the estimated half a million in London. The British capital introduced its first cameras on the Underground in 1961, increasing the amount steadily in the decades since to combat football hooliganism and IRA bombs, investing heavily in CCTV in the wake of the Twin Towers attack in 2001.