And finally… siren song

Ambulance drivers in Naples are calling for police protection after the local mafia ordered them not to use their sirens and flashing lights because they disturbed drug deals.

In the latest incident, an ambulance travelling to an emergency in the city on Saturday night with its siren on was suddenly flanked by two men on a large motorbike, who banged on the window.

It has been reported that one of the men told the driver: “Haven’t you understood you cannot use your siren here? Turn it off or we’ll shoot you.”

Clans from Naples’ Camorra mafia dislike ambulance sirens and lights as they can be mistaken for the arrival of police cars and interrupt drug-pushers’ business by scaring off their customers, The Times reports.

Manuel Ruggiero, an emergency doctor and local head of Nessuno Tocchi Ippocrate, a group fighting violence against medical workers, said: “We have already been ordered not to use sirens in other neighbourhoods, including Sanità and Traiano, where the locally based ambulance turns on its siren only after it leaves the area.”

Local clans have also commandeered ambulances to take wounded mobsters to hospital.

In 2015 the relatives of a boss who had been shot ordered a passing ambulance to stop and forced the driver to pick up the man after pulling a patient out of the back and abandoning him in the street still tied to a trolley.