Rome police chief resigns

Rome's police chief Carlo Buttarelli resigned on Sunday 7 July, following a resignation letter sent the same day to the the city's mayor Ignazio Marino.

In the letter Buttarelli cited "personal reasons" for his decision to leave.

However his resignation follows rumours of growing tension between the police chief and the newly-elected mayor, although this has been denied by official channels. In particular, the two were alleged to have clashed recently over Marino's proposal to tackle illegal street trading in the city.

The plan calls for 300 officers to deal with illegal vendors operating in key central areas – the Pantheon, Colosseum, Piazza di Spagna, the Trevi Fontain and Piazza Navona – with the sanction of an extra €1.2 million of city funds per month in police overtime.

Marino is keen for the plan to be introduced as soon as possible but Buttarelli was said to have delayed its implementation.

The city's former mayor Gianni Alemanno, who appointed Buttarelli about a year ago, expressed concern about the reasons surrounding the police chief's resignation.

Alemanno said he condemned "all forms of spoils systems conducted against a police force whose institutional role and autonomy must be respected."

Thanking Buttarelli for his work, Marino pledged to source a new police chief "in the coming hours."