Rome crime becomes election issue

Security on the streets of Rome has become the prime focus for both contenders in the upcoming mayoral runoff on 9-10 June, following three separate murders in the greater Rome area within 12 hours of each other on 28 May.

Appearing on a televised debate that night, incumbent mayor and centre-right candidate Gianni Alemanno clashed with his centre-left challenger Ignazio Marino over the security issue in the wake of the three seemingly-unrelated murders.

Alemanno, who vowed to make Rome “secure” upon becoming mayor in 2008, said that five years on the capital had "won" its battle to reduce crime but that it now faced a new wave of criminal activity which must be dealt with in a "united approach".

However Marino described his opponent's response as "just a nice story", stating: "Unfortunately the truth must be told: with regard to safety Rome has become a city where there are now Mafia gangs, organised crime and where executions take place on the streets."

On the morning of 28 May a 62-year-old man was assassinated on the street in front of his home in the east Rome suburb of Tor Sapienza.

That afternoon a 40-year-old man was killed outside his family home in Focene, a coastal suburb near Fiumicino airport.

Later that evening a 32-year-old man was killed and his companion seriously injured after being shot in a car on Corso Italia in the centre of Anzio, a coastal town south of the capital.