February 14, 2011.
The Vatican reported 1,300 cases of misdemeanor crimes in 2010, giving the world's smallest
nation the highest ranking for crimes per capita. This may come as a shock to those who aren't familiar with the number of pickpockets that roam St. Peter's Square.
Once a pickpocket strikes, they can freely walk
across the border to Italy, making prosecution a difficult prospect.
With a population of 527 people
in the Vatican and over 1,300 cases of theft, this means there was 1.5
cases per person, 20 times the corresponding amount in Italy.
Besides the pickpockets
and purse snatchers in St. Peter's Square, there is also cases of
fraud and forgery committed mostly by a few of the 18 million
pilgrims and tourists that visited the Vatican in 2010.
The Vatican has decided to
pursue less than 200 of these criminal cases. However, if defendants
are convicted they would serve time in an Italian jail because the
Vatican doesn't have one of their own.