A man with a box
In footage obtained by police on man was shown trying to tamper with a CCTV camera and then putting a box over his head.Naples police

The Italian town of Boscotrecase outside Naples has been forced to shut down its public services after 23 members of municipal staff were arrested for chronic absenteeism.

The local staff in the southern Italian town were arrested after going to extraordinary lengths to ditch work. Reuters reported individuals had been videoed using multiple swipe cards to register numerous absent employees.

In other footage obtained by police on man was shown trying to tamper with a CCTV camera in one government building before giving up, putting a box over his head and swiping two cards.

A week-long investigation by police discovered there had been 200 cases of absenteeism involving 30 people in Boscotrecase.

There have been several similar scandals in Italy in recent years. In October 2015, 75% of local government employees in San Remo were found to not showing up to work. In one case, in the Italian Riviera town, a security guard turned up in his pants, swiped his card and went back to bed.

Elected a month ago as mayor of Boscotrecase, Pietro Carotenuto told Sky News Italia: "I'll probably have to shut down the town hall."

Four major town hall departments have been closed as of 12 July due to lack of staff. The charges against the arrested local council workers include fraud against the state, with the head of the local traffic police among those arrested.

The investigation by police comes during a government crackdown on widespread absenteeism. Those accused have been suspended from work for between six and 12 months and could face eventual dismissal.