In recent years, the absolute number of crimes reported to judicial authorities by police in Italy has fallen. There were 2.8 million crimes in 2014, while there were only 2.3 million in 2019. Milan is the province with the highest crime rate. Its crime rate in 2009 was estimated at 1,629 per 100,000 people. Rome had the lowest rate with only 68 per 100,000 people.
Crime rates in Italy are generally low compared with other European countries. The latest available data (2009) shows that Italy's crime rate is about half that of Spain and France, and one-third that of Germany, Britain, and the United States.
There are several factors which may explain why crime rates are lower in Italy than other European countries. First, Italian law enforcement agencies are more effective at solving cases than their counterparts in many other countries. For example, Italy has one of the highest rates of arrest for drug trafficking in Europe. This is because most drugs trafficked into Italy are smuggled through the Mediterranean Sea rather than overland from South America. Thus, most traffickers will likely be arrested at its border with Greece or Slovenia.
Second, Italy has some of the toughest gun control laws in Europe. It is very difficult to get permission from government officials to own a firearm, and even harder to keep them after getting approval. Only 2% of applicants are granted a license to carry a pistol.
Milan, in northern Italy, rated #1 in terms of crime rate in 2019. Lombardy's capital city registered around 6.8 thousand criminal cases per 100,000 residents. Furthermore, the provinces of Florence and Rimini followed suit, with around 6,000 cases reported in each. Around 5.5 thousand crimes were reported in Rome alone.
In addition to these top-10 cities, Reggio Emilia had one of the highest crime rates in 2018. There were about 3.3 criminals per 1000 people living there at the time. This is more than double the 1.4 criminal per 1000 people that the government estimates for Rome.
The crime rate in Italy is generally high compared with other European countries. In 2017, Italy had a total crime rate of 1.6 million offenses per million people, which was higher than France (936,000 offenses), Germany (690,000 offenses), or Spain (473,000 offenses).
There are several factors that may lead to this high crime rate. The Italian police force is not very large relative to other European countries, so there are less officers available to work crimes scenes. There are also more than half a million undocumented immigrants in Italy who may not report crimes committed against them for fear of being deported.
Italy has one of the lowest percentages of its population aged between 15 and 64 years old - just under 42 percent.
Italy's crime rate
|Level of crime||46.16||Moderate|
|Problem people using or dealing drugs||53.61||Moderate|
|Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft||54.48||Moderate|
|Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery||36.94||Low|
|Problem corruption and bribery||60.41||High|
Italy's crime rate
|Level of crime||45.90||Moderate|
|Problem people using or dealing drugs||53.40||Moderate|
|Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft||54.32||Moderate|
|Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery||36.83||Low|
|Problem corruption and bribery||60.51||High|