Italian Mafia Order Ambulances to Stop Sirens, As Members Mistake Them for Police

Mafia members in the Italian city of Naples have reportedly threatened ambulance crews to stop using sirens as, the noise is too similar to that of police sirens, and interferes with “business”.

Ambulance drivers and first responders in Naples have recently started asking for police escorts, after numerous reports of armed mafia crews threatening and even assaulting ambulances, over their use of sirens and light signals. Apparently, these emergency signals used by ambulances are very bad for business, as they disturb drug-pushers and scare away customers, both of which often mistake them for police. Such cases have been reported for years, but the problems has intensified recently, due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Photo: AKuptsova/Pixabay

One traumatized ambulance driver told Italian media that he was driving an ambulance with its siren on, when he found himself flanked by two men on a motorcycle, one of whom banged on the ambulance window and threatened to kill him. The distraught ambulance crew ended up calling police, asking them to provide safe escort out of the neighborhood in question.

“Haven’t you understood you cannot use your siren here? Turn it off or we’ll shoot you,” one of the armed men allegedly told the ambulance driver.

Manuel Ruggiero, a 42-year-old emergency doctor and the head of a local branch of an organization fighting violence against medical professionals, confirmed that there are indeed neighborhoods in Naples where the ambulances don’t use their sirens and light signals for fear of mafia retaliation.

Photo: diegoparra/Pixabay

“We have already been ordered not to use sirens in other neighborhoods, including Sanità and Traiano, where the locally based ambulance turns on its siren only after it leaves the area,” Ruggiero said.

Local politicians have asked the Government to make the fight against the mafia a national priority, and called for more protection measures for ambulance drivers and first responders.

Posted in News        Tags: , , , ,