Italian police to patrol Shanghai streets
Two Italian police officers started their 12-day patrol of Shanghai with their Chinese colleagues on the Bund on Wednesday.
They’re among the eight Italian police officers who are to patrol the streets in four Chinese cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Xi’an – on a bilateral program to deepen cooperation between police of China and Italy.
This is the second time Italian police officers are patrolling Shanghai streets — four officers were here in May of last year.
The two Italian officers will patrol with two Shanghai officers who speak Italian and English at landmarks around the city, including the Bund, Lujiazui, Yuyuan Garden, Xintiandi and Jing’an Temple, as well as at downtown Metro stations such as People’s Square and Xujiahui and Pudong International Airport.
Their mission is to help address safety issues concerning Italian tourists and expats, while at the same time exchanging experiences in law enforcement with their Chinese counterparts.
They will not carry firearms or police weapons but will assist Chinese officers.
Fernando Giorgi, a police officer from Rome, is one of two Italian officers to patrol Shanghai.
“I’m looking forward to close cooperation and communication with my colleagues from Shanghai,” he said.
Regarding advice from his Italian colleagues who came to Shanghai last year, Giorgi said while smiling that he was cautioned about the city's high summer temperatures.
Stefano Beltrame, Consul General of Italy in Shanghai, said the joint patrol last year was a surprise to many Italians living in Shanghai. There are about 3,500 of them at the moment.
“The first joint patrol has yielded a lot of positive reactions and results, and this is just the beginning of our international cooperation with the Chinese police,” he said.
Dong Bin, vice director of the Commanding Department of Shanghai Public Security Bureau, said Shanghai expects many tourists from Italy since it’s the high travel season and Shanghai is a popular tourist destination.
“The joint patrol aims to increase safety of Italians in Shanghai, and it also serves the purpose of cracking down on international crimes,” he said.
Jamal Khan, who was strolling the Bund on Wednesday, said he found the joint patrol of Chinese and Italian police interesting.
“It’s good to see the police around, but Shanghai is generally a very safe place with very solid infrastructure like surveillance cameras and high technology such as facial recognition,” he said.
The joint police patrol program between China and Italy was introduced in 2016 and is reciprocal. Chinese police officers, including a few from Shanghai, have patrolled in Italy three times so far.