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Page last updated at 21:56 GMT, Saturday, 8 August 2009 22:56 UK

Controversial citizen patrols in Italy

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The Italian government has introduced unarmed citizen patrols to the streets in a bid to improve law and order.

The groups are part of a crackdown by Silvio Berlusconi's administration against illegal immigration, which Italians increasingly link to crime.

But the so-called "volunteer observers" are dividing Italians, with opponents denouncing them as paving the way for vigilante justice.

Duncan Kennedy reports from Rome.

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