Italy: Police allowed to use tasers inside stadiums

source: stopandgoal.net / amnestyusa.org

Italy: Police allowed to use tasers inside stadiums The controversial stun-gun accounted for hundreds of deaths will now be allowed for use against violent hooligans inside Italian stadiums. This is only one of many changes after the tragedy from May.

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With 169 for and 104 against, the Italian Senate approved changes to domestic stadium safety regulations. The most commented alteration is the introduction of tasers to combat hooliganism. Stun-guns with electrode bullets cause muscle contractions and allow to subdue an offender.

This is expected to be a compromise between using rubber/regular bullets and leaving officers unarmed in extreme situations, but tasers are subject to serious criticism for causing cardiac arrhythmia and even death. By Amnesty International count, by 2012 use of tasers caused or was connected to over 500 deaths in the US alone.

Italian regulations assure the use will be monitored and reported to the parliament on annual basis to provide control of the new measure. However, scope of the reports is unclear.

What is clear, is the increased penalization of violent behavior inside and around Italian stadia. Aggressive repeated offenders are to be monitored like mafia members, while stadium banning orders are to be also used against entire groups and may be issued for previous offenses (even with no connection to football) based on threat evaluation.

And finally, what outraged football clubs, each of them is to pay 1-3% of the ticket revenue to cover police operation costs. Many claim this is just another way to add one more tax.

The above changes aren’t the only ones, but are among the most significant introduced after one more death in the football community. In May Napoli fan Ciro Esposito was shot and, as it later proved, lethally wounded ahead of Coppa Italia final.

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