Online public apology for insulting Rome police

Rome mayor requests report into police practice of video apologies.

Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi has called for a report into the practice of individuals who insult members of the capital's vigili urbani local police being required to film their apology, which is then posted online, as revealed by Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica. The mayor said the practice predated her administration.

Normally in Italy those who are reported by local police for contempt must pay a fine – usually between €200 and 250 – and write a letter of apology, thus cancelling the crime.

In Rome, however, those in contempt of vigili urbani must appear in a video, reading from a predefined script in which offenders proffer their "sincere apologies" and "deep regret" for their crime before expressing their "appreciation" of the work done by the local police.

Offenders are obliged to appear in a video, lasting at least 30 seconds, in which their face is visible. The video must then be published "on a video sharing platform, without access restrictions and with widespread viewership such as YouTube, Megavideo, My Space, Google Video."

The practice has generated criticism in the media and been described as public humiliation.