(photo credit: )
Serial rapist Benny Sela's escape from custody was the low point in a difficult 2006 for Tel Aviv Police.
District Commander Cmdr. David Tzur looked for points of light when presenting his summary of police operations for the year on Thursday.
Ninety percent of calls placed to the police in the district in 2006 were answered within 20 seconds, Tzur said.
He also cited a "significant decline" in property-related offenses, including burglaries of vehicles and businesses, although a property crime occurs approximately seven times an hour in the city.
Approximately 12% of those crimes are solved, according to the police.
On a more positive note, the number of murders in the city declined from 32 in 2005 to 27 in 2006. Of those 27 murders, 22 were solved by the end of the year.
Tzur presented the data during an annual award's ceremony for district cops. Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi and Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter attended.
"I hope that Tel Aviv can continue to be a city that doesn't stop, but also a city with longer and longer pauses between crimes," Dichter said.
In a press conference following the presentation of the citations, Tzur, whose chances of promotion were sidelined by the Yaron Report on the chain of failures that led to Sela's escape, criticized Dichter's choice of Israel Prisons Service Chief Warden Ya'acov Genot to become the next police chief.
"He is a suitable candidate for the job, but if I were making the decision, I would have decided otherwise," Tzur said.
In the wake of February's Zeiler Report on the way police and prosecutors led a six-year investigation into the 1999 murder of underworld figure Pinhas Buhbout, and Karadi's resignation, which takes effect on May 1, Tzur has been rumored to be weighing his future in the Israel Police.