That is really disgusting on many levels. As we used to say in NY "the fix was in".
Ages ago I did Shore Patrol duty in Italy while in the Navy. In La Spezia the local authorities insisted that we have a member of the Carabinieri patrol with us. Of course he didn't speak English and we didn't speak Italian - a fairly frustrating night walking the streets and alleys of an otherwise lovely town. But I remember the undertone of worry I could feel amongst the locals when we entered a bar or restaurant. Our escort seemed to enjoy it. Not saying it is a pervasive attitude, after all the same thing happens in the U.S.