Police deployed a platoon of Border Police officers in south Tel Aviv on Sunday, as part of what they say are efforts to restore a sense of security to the residents of the city's southern neighborhoods.
Tel Aviv police spokesman Orit Friedman said the 50 Border Police fighters, which will be stationed indefinitely at the Lewinsky Park police station, are meant to provide “a prominent feeling of presence in the neighborhoods and a sense of security to locals.”
She added that the new deployment, which is in keeping with orders given by National Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino and Minister of Public Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch, brings the number of police officers stationed at the Lewinsky station to almost 130. She added that their eventual goal is to bring the number of officers at the station to around 190.
The Border Police officers went through a special three-month training course before the deployment, police said, and were introduced at the Lewinsky station at a Sunday morning ceremony attended by Tel Aviv Police District Commander Aharon Aksel and Border Police Commander Maj. Gen. Amos Yaakov.
The platoon will work solely in the southern neighborhoods of the city, including the central bus station area and neighborhoods like Shapira, Hatikvah, and Yad Eliyahu, where most of the city's African migrant population resides.
Sunday's deployment came less than a week after a Sudanese man was arrested for raping an 8-year-old girl and stabbing her mother during a break-in at their home in south Tel Aviv. After the incident, around a hundred residents marched through the Hatikvah and Yad Eliyahu neighborhoods, calling for police to return a sense of security to their neighborhoods.
The incident came a little less than a month after Tel Aviv District Police released figures indicating a sharp rise in crime among the African migrant population in the district, including a 53.2 percent increase in the number of Sudanese and Eritreans suspected in crimes and a 45% increase in the opening of criminal cases against them in 2012. The figures also stated that there were 1,048 Sudanese and Eritreans named as suspects in crimes in 2012, as opposed to 684 in 2011, and 1,092 criminal cases opened against them in 2012 as opposed to 2011.