Locals and police have sounded the alarm over the deteriorating situation at Rome’s largest train station, with some calling it a “no man’s land” due to rampant violence, theft, and drugs.
Police who patrol the busy railway station describe the feeling as if they are under siege. Michele Sprovara, Deputy Secretary-General of Rome of the Coisp police union, stated that officers are in great need of reinforcement, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.
“We are understaffed and, of course, there is always the problem that those we arrest today, tomorrow they find themselves back on the streets to commit exactly the same crimes,” Sprovara said.
A large number of the criminals operating at the station are migrants, many from North Africa such as 12 Algerians migrants, legally residents of Spain and France, who were recently arrested for committing crimes at the station.
“By now, they have understood that here they can do everything: steal, get drunk, break bottles. It has become no man’s land,” said Alessandro Vallocchia, spokesman for the Esquilino Monti Defence Committee.
“It is a situation completely in disarray. Anything can happen to you,” Mr Vallocchia added.
Migrant Stabs Christian After Noticing Crucifix Necklace https://t.co/N8dFnUGmtt
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 24, 2019
Authorities have made some progress with enacting barriers to remove some homeless vagrants. However, the Via Giolitti, the street to the south-west of the station, has been taken over by drug dealers who accost those at nearby fast-food restaurants.
Several major incidents took place in the area in recent months including the robbery of a Five Star Movement senator and an Italian judge just last month. The two men were said to have been robbed by a gang of three Algerian youths who were later arrested by police.
In April, another North African migrant, this time from Morocco, was arrested after stabbing a Georgian homeless man at the station because of a heated argument over the Georgian’s crucifix necklace.