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Restrictions on nightclubs, permitting body searches without making arrests and the option of hiring policemen to protect entertainment spots were some of the recommendations Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra presented the cabinet on Sunday as part of a widespread plan to curb juvenile crime and violence.
According to statistics presented by representatives of the police's Investigations and Intelligence Department, there are currently 2,254,000 children in Israel with 334,000 in a "state of danger." Since 1999 the number of juvenile cases investigated by the police has been on sharp incline. While 29,299 cases were opened in 1999, in 2004 41,232 were opened.
"There are different styles and modes of violence," Ezra said Sunday. "The most important thing is that every regional council and municipality unify all of the different authorities and create one front to combat juvenile violence."
Claiming the need for a NIS 550 million budget increase, Ezra's plan focuses mostly on legislative changes needed to enhance the police's ability to curb the seemingly juvenile crime wave. The plan calls for legislation that would allow police to search suspects without first arresting them and detain suspects for an extended period of time without arresting them. Another law calls for changing the status of nightclub security guards to the same status as state employees, thereby enhancing the severity of a punishment someone could receive for assaulting a nightclub guard.
The plan additionally calls for the recruitment of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia as well as the Bedouin sector into the police force to help gather intelligence from within all spheres of society.