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Armed and chic | by Silanov
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Armed and chic

An Italian policewoman from behind (most likely belonging to the Florence police department) at Via Calimala in the city centre of Florence, Tuscany, Italy


Some background information:


According to the General Data Protection Regulation of the EU, being effective since May 2018, photographers in the EU are no longer allowed to publish a picture of a person’s face without her or his permission, as long as the person is the chief subject of the picture. This new regulation makes street photography a rather tricky matter for EU citizens. So if you publish a street photo with passers-by, who stumble into the picture by pure chance, everything’s still ok, I guess. But if it’s really the person, who gets photographed, the photographer needs her or his permission in written form to be on the safe side. Well, as the regulation is still new, there are no experience values available yet.


However, personally I don’t want to be sued by some dodgy internet lawyer and forced to pay a high financial penalty. That’s why I show this policewoman only from behind. On the other hand, this perspective displays all her police equipment better (please note the handgun, most likely a Beretta 92, in the holster on her right side), but it doesn’t change my opinion, that this regulation is a very stupid and unworldly one, at least with regard to the subject of photography.


Italian police is separated into two forces: the Polizia di Stato and the Carabinieri. Both of them have full powers of investigation, public safety duties, road patrols and more. The Polizia di Stato (State Police) is the civil national police of Italy. Along with patrolling, investigative and law enforcement duties, it patrols the Autostrada (Italy's Express Highway network), and oversees the security of railways, bridges and waterways. The Carabinieri is the common name for the Arma dei Carabinieri, a Gendarmerie-like military corps with police duties. They also serve as the military police for the Italian armed forces. Having both military police duties and civil police duties, the Arma is usually called on duty as riot police during big events and demonstrations.


Municipal officers work on minor crimes on a local basis, from traffic offences to small-time drug dealing and illegal camping. Each town or city has its own police department but they have limited jurisdiction and duties. Local officers can check driving licences, enforce municipal laws and ordinances and carry out investigations for robbeies and minor offences, but they cannot form a "riot squad" or interfere with homicide or general investigations by the Police or Carabinieri.


Each Polizia Locale is under the authority of the respective local mayor, but the officers' mandate is valid only during their working hours and within the area their force covers, whereas Carabinieri and Polizia di Stato are always formally "on duty", wherever they are and regardless of whether they are at work. The total number of active police officers in all of the Italian agencies is about 325,000, the highest number in the European Union both overall and per capita. For example this number is twice the number of agents in the similarly sized United Kingdom.


With about 400,000 residents in its city centre and more than 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area, Florence is the capital and also the most populous city of the Italian region of Tuscany. The town lies in a basin formed by several hills. The Arno river, three other minor rivers and some streams flow through its metropolitan area. During the Middle Ages the city was a centre of European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era. It is also considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 Florence was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy.


The Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini, who were all born in the city. Florence attracts millions of tourists each year, and its historic centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, the town has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Furthermore, Florence is also an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world.


Today, Florence is mainly known as the "cradle of the Renaissance" for its culture, art and many Renaissance monuments, churches, and other buildings. 600 years after its completion, the dome, built by Filippo Brunelleschi, is still the largest dome built in brick and mortar in the world. Florence also contains numerous museums and art galleries where some of the world's most important works of art are held, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti. Hence, tourism is, by far, the most important of all industries and most of the Florentine economy relies on the money generated by international arrivals and students studying in the city. The value tourism to the city totalled some 62.5 billion € in 2015 and the number of visitors still increases to the present day.

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Taken on October 2, 2018