Local residents of an Italian border town with France are growing increasingly concerned about their security amid rising crime rates that made headlines on Saturday after a brawl between two migrants resulted in the death of a Nigerian national.
Ventimiglia, located in northern Italy just 7 kilometers from the French border, has become a hotspot for migrants traveling from Italy’s southern coast to northwest Europe, and frustration is mounting among the locals at the rising migrant population.
Questions are now being asked of local officials following an incident between two Nigerian migrants outside the Anthony Bar in Cesare Battisti Square, near the train station in downtown Ventimiglia, shortly after 7.30 p.m. on Saturday evening.
According to the Ansa news agency, both men were seriously wounded in a brawl that left one dead after being stabbed in the throat and the other hospitalized at the nearby Borea Hospital with chest wounds.
The murder led to an urgent meeting of the local municipality’s public order and security committee and the announcement by Mayor Flavio Di Muro — the Lega official elected back in May this year when the town swung to the Right — to further increase the police presence in the city.
“A first new measure, decided today, is a further increase in police forces, right at the station and in the most dangerous areas of the city,” Di Muro told residents.
The mayor revealed his intention to accelerate the expansion of the migrant center in the town, where new arrivals will be subject to a curfew.
“The gates close at 7.30 p.m., permitting migrants to stay inside and the people of Ventimiglia not to have broken doors or illegal situations,” Di Muro said. “We’ve endured far too much; it’s time to say ‘enough,'” he added.
The local government will also accelerate the tender for companies to provide an enhanced video surveillance system across the region.
Local residents and shopkeepers told media that they no longer feel safe in the town and that the number of new arrivals has harmed security and trade.
“Working here has become impossible,” one bar owner in Piazza Battisti, near to where the murder took place, told Ansa.
“If it goes on like this, we won’t be able to leave home,” another resident added.