Italy police in 18 cities to be armed with tasers

Police in cities across Italy can use tasers from Monday.

Italian police forces in 18 cities will be permitted to use tasers as of Monday 14 March, Italy's interior minister Luciana Lamorgese announced on Thursday.

The use of the electro-shock weapons will apply to the carabinieri, polizia di stato (state police), and guardia di finanza (finance police), said Lamorgese, who described the move as "an important step to reduce the risks to the safety" of law enforcement officers.

Police will be armed with almost 5,000 tasers in Italy's 14 metropolitan cities - Rome, Milan, Turin, Naples, Palermo, Bari, Catania, Bologna, Florence, Venice, Genoa, Messina, Reggio Calabria and Cagliari - as well as the provincial capitals Caserta, Brindisi, Reggio Emilia and Padua.

Lamorgese said the stun guns would allow police "to manage critical and dangerous situations in a safer, more effective way."

The introduction of tasers follows several years of trials and training of officers, with plans to gradually expand the use of tasers to police across Italy from May.

Photo Il Foglio