Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni plans to request a substantial increase in troops to patrol the country's major cities, boosting the 3,000 soldiers deployed last month to help police combat crime and improve security, Italian News Agency ADNKRONOS said on Friday.
"The results have been extremely interesting. The soldiers and members of the Italian security forces have done a great job together," Maroni said.
"Our evaluation of the joint patrols is extremely positive, and the high level of satisfaction shown in public opinion polls indicates that people feel safer," Maroni stated.
He said there had been 93 arrests including 66 immigrants for theft and other crimes against property and 263 alleged offenses reported to police since the joint patrols began in early August.
"The results have far exceeded our expectations," he said.
Troops from the army, navy and airforce, as well as the Carabinieri military police are patrolling beside local police in Rome, Naples, Milan and Turin and other cities, for an initial period of six months.
A total 2,000 troops have been assigned to foot patrols, while the remaining 1,000 are guarding high-profile tourist sites, embassies and other "sensitive sites."