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The right-wing government of Premier Giorgia Meloni on Thursday approved a decree to crack down on juvenile delinquency, allowing children as young as six to be arrested, following a spate of high-profile “baby gang” crimes that dominated headlines this summer.
The decree was adopted by the Cabinet a week after Meloni visited a crime-infested Naples suburb, where two girls were allegedly raped repeatedly by local youths. During the visit, Meloni promised to improve safety in the town of Caivano and to rehabilitate an abandoned, rundown sports complex where some of the alleged rapes occurred.
DEATH TOLL REACHES 14 AFTER FIERCE STORMS, FLOODING RAVAGE GREECE, TURKEY, BULGARIA
Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni speaks during a visit to the Green Park neighbourhood in Caivano, Italy, on Aug. 31, 2023. (Alessandro Garofalo/LaPresse via AP)
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The decree includes funding for rehabilitation as well as a provision to name a special safety commissioner for Caivano, a Naples suburb rife with drug dealers and organized crime.
Meloni’s government, which came to power last year, has sought to show it is tough on crime, making one of its first acts in office a decree to ban rave parties.