Rome's police to smarten up

New rules have been issued governing the appearance and decorum of Rome's municipal police, according to a report in Rome daily newspaper Il Messaggero.

The rules state that all serving vigili must avoid dressing sloppily; the men must "take care" of their beards and moustaches, while the women must not wear their hair loose, neither should they wear earrings.

Smokers are asked to be discreet when smoking, and never in front of the public.

The police officers are asked to refrain from speaking in romanesco, or engaging in disrespectful, provocative or overly-familiar language.

Private conversations on cellular phones are to be made only in emergency cases.

They are forbidden from sitting in bars or restaurants, or huddling together for a chat on the street, and are only permitted to go indoors during particularly adverse weather conditions.

Officers may not park in no-parking zones and must wear their seat belts in their work vehicles.

The 18 rules to improve the force’s image in the eyes of the public were drawn up by six of their own: three vigili and three vigilesse on the instructions of the commander Carlo Buttarelli who posted the rules on his Facebook profile.