Over recent years, Italy has seen a disturbing increase in its crime rate, and the security industry is growing in leaps and bounds.
Over recent years, Italy has seen a disturbing increase in its crime rate, and the security industry is growing in leaps and bounds. In the north Italian city of Bologna, one company is making armour-plated cars to try and teat kidnappers and armed robbers.
SYNOPSIS: The cars are built at the workshop of Signor Oliviero Grazia where the first was constructed tin 1974. Forty others have followed and Signor Grazia's order book is full for some years ahead. The cars are packed with security devices and are more fictional British secret agent, James Bond, than the sort of vehicle you might expect to see on the Italian streets.
The locks have been specially designed so that they are almost impenetrable from the outside. The bodywork is made of armour-plating and the builders claim that it can stand up to the force of a problems for the assailant who tries to shoot a way into the car.
The Italian public have felt increasingly insecure as the state police have had difficulties in tracking down the criminals. Kidnappings reached a staggering level last year as many of the nation's wealthier families paid large ransoms for the return of their relatives. Perhaps the most famous was the 16 year-old John Paul Getty the Third, who was kidnapped in 1973. One of his ears was cut off and almost one and a half million US dollars) ransom was paid before his kidnappers released him.
Signor Grazia has to revealed the cost of the cars, but the equipment alone is estimated to cost between five and six million pounds sterling (between 9 and 10 1/2 million US dollars). If any clients want particular equipment in the car, then Signor Grazia is willing to accommodate them. But it seems unlikely that many of the cars will actually be used to ward off well armed attacks. The massive anti-terrorist equipment will probably serve as a sufficient deterrent.