Europe

Florence and drugs, Station Square "besieged" by drug dealers. And in amazing fast food instead of sandwiches

Around the Central Station of Santa Maria Novella, the visiting card of the city, the massive and constant presence of pusher in all hours of the day and night. To the point that McDonald's fast food (already closed for a week) looks like a kind of Dutch coffee shop. The replica of fast food: "we are not Digos".

You do not have time to get off the train and hear the announcer of the station Florence Santa Maria Novella that a drug dealer is already offering you "smoke". Just outside the rail yard (manned by the military) you find someone trying to sell you drugs. He chases the client like a Salesman of encyclopedias or vacuum cleaners would. In the sunlight as in the dark of night. Because they're always there, in the Station Square.

Dealing episodes also occur


of what the Quaestor of Florence: closure for a week (suspended license) of fast food. He had judged the public exercise "assiduously frequented by subjects who go there to consume various crimes, from drug dealing to crimes against property, sometimes making themselves perpetrators of acts of violence." At the reopening nothing has changed despite the restaurant's efforts that with private security patrol even the bathrooms turned into a real hole room. They're devastated. Out of four it only works one and is accessed only with the receipt. "They break them because they go up there with their feet on them so they don't show up, they do drugs and then they vandalize everything," says a security guard on the doorstep. A colleague of yours is upstairs trying to get a bunch of drug dealers out sitting at the table. They don't have drinks in front of them but just a blue plastic bag. I'm there to get customers.

The evening is even worse. We take a table by the entrance and wait. After just ten minutes a guy joins us offering us "quality grass" while we are eating. He takes the money that we stretch him and after a while he makes us sign to reach him outside. While you wait for us to go out, have a chat with one of the vigilantes. Do you know him? "Of course, he's a friend. Inside are the cameras, I try not to create too much trouble otherwise call the police and arrest me." He was handcuffed once before, then he went back to dealing in the same spot. He explains that, especially after the first arrest, every day he leaves Naples with a maximum of five doses of cocaine. They pay him 70 euros a gram. The reason is easy to guess: five doses (packaged and held in a certain way) represent the limit for not to be arrested and to return the possession in the personal use or possession in the "modest amount" could only be a complaint on the loose.

"We are not the Digos - justifies Tommaso Valle, head of the Press Office of McDonald's Italy -. There is an ongoing collaboration with law enforcement. We call them every time we see something illegal but it is clear that we deal with catering not the control of the territory". The fast food in via Nazionale is strengthening the surveillance system with high-resolution cameras that allow the enlargement of faces and better recognition of drug dealers by investigators. "Wanting to make a national assessment I can say that a situation of such severity we record only in Florence Santa Maria Novella, there is not a term of comparison throughout Italy" continues Valle.

And he's right. The rest of the Square is a drug supermarket: you will find everything from cocaine to hashish, from heroin to marijuana. Also in front of other clubs there is the usual teppa. They work as a couple. One stores the drugs in the pockets and the other deals with the single delivery, even inside the stores. You try to sell to everyone, from the tourist to the minor. Even the police aren't scary anymore. In fact, more than once, during a raid, law enforcement was attacked while trying to block a pusher who had just given drugs to a young boy.

https://www.corriere.it/

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