Italian Policy on Sexual crime


The number of sexual crimes reported over the last 3 years (2011-2013) has decreased, on average, by 5%.

Relevant legislation:

Law No 66 of 15 February 1996, Regulations against sexual violence, that introduced the modern concept of sexual violence according to which its criminal nature consists in being an offence against sexual self-determination whereas the modus operandi is immaterial. From a procedural point of view the law introduced the possibility of a secure examination of children victim of sexual abuse and/or exploitation.

Law No 269 of 3 August 1998, Regulations against exploitation of prostitution, pornography and sex tourism to the detriment of child victims as new forms of placing a person in conditions of slavery, that introduced new types of offences and tools aimed at a more effective law enforcement action.

Law No 38 of 6 February 2006, Regulations concerning the fight against sexual exploitation of children and child pornography also through the Internet, that introduced some amendments to the previous legislation and provided for the setting up of the National Centre for Combating Child Pornography on the Internet and of the Observatory for the Fight against Paedophilia and Child Pornography.

Law No 172 of 1 October 2012, Ratification and execution of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, done at Lanzarote on 25 October 2007, and rules adjusting domestic law, that introduced some amendments from a substantive and procedural point of view, among which recourse to an expert in relation to the examination of a child victim of sexual abuse and changes to the benefits offered to persons detained on charges of sexual abuse of children.

Legislative Decree No 39  of 4 March 2014, Implementation of Directive 2011/93/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA, that introduced a specific aggravating circumstance for anyone using means capable of preventing the identification of data enabling access to computer networks as well as the obligation to request the certificate of previous convictions of the Criminal Records Office in connection with any activity implying direct and regular contacts with children.

Policy activity:

At present the National Police Central Anticrime Directorate and the Central Directorate of Traffic Police, Railway Police, Postal and Communications Police and Special Units of the National Police within the Public Security Department are responsible for the prevention of and fight against the various types of sexual abuse and exploitation, including those to the detriment of children. The latter, along with the Postal and Communications Police Service, conducts extensive investigations aimed at combating child pornography on the Internet.

The Central Operations Service within the Central Anticrime Directorate is instead responsible for stimulating and coordinating  information-related and operational activities carried out by the local offices in charge of the prevention of and fight against the above offences ie Children Offices within the Anticrime Divisions, basically dealing with prevention, and Criminal Investigation Departments (CIDs) dealing with investigations. The relevant personnel receive a specific multidisciplinary and victim-oriented training.

Among training projects mention should be made of the courses, intended for CIDs specialized Sections, on investigation techniques in relation to offences to the detriment of children and to sexual offences and, more recently, of seminars on operational procedures for the identification and management of children victim of sexual abuse. Such seminars are still conducted within the framework of the DICAM II Project under the coordination of the Postal and Communications Police Service.

Furthermore, in the field of prevention, the Questure (National Police Provincial Headquarters) as well as Postal and Communications Police offices periodically organize meetings in schools to make young people aware of sexual abuse issues; in addition, they have entered into Memoranda of Understanding aimed at an integrated action against violence and abuse.

Relevant webpages:

Contact details:
Servizio per la Cooperazione Internazionale di Polizia
Via Torre di Mezzavia nr. 9/121 00173 -   Roma
e-mail address: