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There are a number of different police forces in Italy that are responsible for doing specific duties.

The Carabinieri recently became a separate armed force, alongside the Army, Navy and Air Force. They are the most popular of all the police forces. They generally handle crime, drug offences and public order. To contact them you should telephone 112. The Caribinieri also serve as Italian military police. In recent years they have been dispatched all over the world in peacekeeping missions, including Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Guardia di Finanza is a special police force who's duties primarily involve investigating money related crimes, such as tax evasion, smuggling, money laundering and counterfeiting.

The Polizia di Stato, or the State Police, is the National Police Force of Italy. They are the police who patrol the autostrada (motorway) and deal with investigative and law enforcement duties. Should you be assaulted or robbed these are the police you should contact. They are a civilian police force, whilst the Caribinieri are military or paramilitary. The Polizia di Stato's headquarters are in Rome, but there are Regional and Provincial divisions scattered all over Italy.

The Polizia Penitenziaria (Prison Guards) take care of all the transportation of inmates and look after the Italian prison system.

The Corpo Forestale dello Stato control the forests and national parks. They fight poachers, safeguard protected animals and help prevent forest fires.

The Vigili Urbani deals with traffic.

When in trouble, contact the local Questura (police station), which will also deal with lost passports.

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