II part Interview with Italian Consul in London, Massimiliano Mazzanti
This is the second part of the interview to Italian Consul in London Massimiliano Mazzanti in range of investigative doing about Italian emigration in UK is about the crime problem in London, an issue which is growing day by day due to the increase of emigration in the UK capital. Finally, the Italian Consul sends useful advice to our fellow countrymen who want to move to London.
Is there a crime problem in London? What are the most common crimes in which Italians run into? How does the Italian Consulate operate to protect them?
Yes, there are two crime sides in London: there is the side where Italians are authors and the side where Italians are victims. In an open circulation system like is Europe, is in fact easy to “transfer” the crime to the areas where is most convenient. The crimes are very different among them: from the most ordinary as pickpocketing and purse snatching to fraud crimes more refined and creative, that we can call them “Italian”, just for understanding, until despicable crimes such as murder. However, the Italian Consulate has to guarantee to our fellow countrymen a fairy conduct by the British prison authority.
What are instead the situations in which Italians are victims of British criminality?
It’s easy to run into difficult situations in a city like London. What we have been repeating since the beginning of our meetings is that London is not a paradise, but a tough city where living. One of the greatest problem is that, our fellow countrymen choose the area where to live without thinking, so they end up in boroughs where there are drug dealers and a lot of criminals. For these reasons, we recommend them to check in advance what are the areas to be avoided. In addition, there has been an increase of crime in last years. London is now a melting pot, there are Asian, South American, Eastern European people and inexperienced people can often run into forms of violence and murder.
Should Italians victims of pickpocketing contact the Consulate?
They absolutely have to contact us. We always try to warn ours fellow countrymen to not bring too much cash, as unfortunately many of them do. In addition, we recommend to Italians of leaving passport or identity card at home or at hotel, as the police does not require proof of identity in UK. The Italian Consulate allows our countrymen victims of pickpocketing to return to Italy through an “expulsion order” which is approved by the British authority. It’s not possible of course to get the cash back. We do 40-45 “expulsion order” per day, due to Italians who have lost their travel documents and Italians who are victims of pickpocketing as well.
Have you been noticing an increase in incidents of racism and intolerance towards the Italian community due to the growing number of Italian immigrants in UK?
Usually Italians are very beloved by British. There isn’t any hunt against Italians, rather they have a good appeal that goes beyond fashion and gastronomy, as there is a very strong appreciation for their professionalism, friendliness and social projection. From the other side, I know there is worry because the endless immigration from Easter Europe, especially from Bulgaria and Romania. It’s a so serious problem that it was thought to limit the emigration of young people from Eastern Europe, starting to cut back benefits who are paid by the British taxpayers. The vast majority of Italians, however, doesn’t use these subsides.
Is there any news about the Joele Leotta’s murdered ?
The 4 Lithuanians charged of murder pleaded not guilty and now we are waiting for the trial, which is going to be held around April 7. The four men risk to be convicted with a life sentence due to the murder cruelty.
What kind of message do you feel to address to the many Italians who today live in UK or have been planning to move to London? Do you think the British capital still offers value opportunities for our fellow countrymen?
In my opinion, London should not be considered as an Eldorado, it isn’t a paradise where run away from a bad Italy that doesn’t understand and doesn’t help young people. My hope is that Italians come here to get work experience or academic training, learn English now that it is essential to work at every level and then bring back in Italy the experience they got in UK, contributing to inoculate a greater civic duty sense and more meritocracy in our country.
Does he feel confident about Italy future?
Yes, of course. Italians have extraordinary resources and demonstrate this every day in London, where they are absolutely unbeatable on professional level, because they follow the rules but keep their creativity.