ROME — Four Chinese policemen will patrol the streets of Rome and Milan alongside their Italian counterparts for the next two weeks to help protect wealthy visitors from China during a peak tourism period, officials from both countries said on Monday.

Chinese cops to patrol Italy’s top tourist sights

Four units, each boasting one Chinese copper and an Italian flatfoot, will be posted to tourist hot spots such as the ancient Colosseum in Rome or Milan’s Gothic cathedral to help deter pickpockets and counsel those who have come a cropper.

Three million Chinese visit Italy each year.

The patrolmen will be on site from Tuesday until May 13, Italian and Chinese authorities announced at a press conference in Rome.

They hope to “increase the sense of security of Chinese tourists,” said Italian police chief Alessandro Pansa.

The next two weeks is expected to be the peak period in Italy for shopping-happy Chinese visitors, known for spending their cash on Italian goods.

“If the experiment is successful, we will expand it to other cities in Italy,” said Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, adding that Italian policemen would soon be heading to Beijing and Shanghai to carry out the same sort of patrols there. — AFP