QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2005-01 > 1105401215
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 18:53:35 EST
(http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/reuters.co.uk/news/odd/article;type=SkyScraper;articleID=7271706;sz=120x600;ptile=2;ord=595222554?) High crime in Vatican
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican may he a holy city but it is also one
of the few places in the world where crime, the worldly type anyway,
According to figures released on Saturday some 90 percent of crimes
committed inside Vatican City -- nearly all of them petty thefts, pick pocketing and
vandalism -- go unpunished.
Most of the crimes take place among tourists in St Peter's Basilica, St
Peter's Square and the Vatican Museums.
Some 90 percent of the perpetrators are never identified or found, Nicola
Picardi, a sort of justice minister for Vatican City, said at a ceremony on
Saturday opening the judicial year.
Most culprits disappear among the 18 million annual pilgrims and tourists to
Vatican City -- a 108 acre sovereign city-state surrounded by Rome.
Many of those who do get nabbed usually don't face charges because of the
bureaucratic complications regarding foreign citizens.
Because Vatican City has such a small resident population -- about 500
people -- and such a huge number of visitors -- 18 million -- it has perhaps the
world's highest per capita crime rate -- 106 percent.
And, if a petty thief is Catholic and should be hit by a crisis of
conscience after picking a fellow pilgrim's pocket, priests hear confessions in St
Peter's Basilica all day.