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Italy's government approves crackdown on juvenile crime after a spate of rapes and youth criminality

ROME (AP) — Those who used the Sept. 7 story are asked to use the following story.

ROME (AP) — Italy’s right-wing government Thursday approved a decree to crack down on juvenile delinquency, broadening conditions under which minors aged 14 or above can be jailed, following a spate of high-profile “baby gang” crimes that gained attention this summer.

The decree was adopted by the Cabinet a week after Premier Giorgia Meloni visited a crime-infested Naples suburb, where two girls were allegedly raped repeatedly by local youths. During the visit, Meloni promised to improve safety in the town of Caivano and to rehabilitate an abandoned, rundown sports complex where some of the alleged rapes occurred.

The decree, which Parliament must either approve as is or modify or drop within months, also includes funding for rehabilitation as well as a provision to name a special safety commissioner for Caivano, a Naples suburb rife with drug dealers and organized crime.

Meloni’s government, which came to power last year, has sought to show it is tough on crime, making one of its first acts in office a decree to ban rave parties.