Top cop cites sharp drop in burglaries, property crime

Inspector-general warns of crime syndicates' increasing armament.

September 9, 2007 22:39
2 minute read.
Top cop cites sharp drop in burglaries, property crime

burglar crime 88. (photo credit: )

Burglaries dropped 21 percent, property crime dropped 9.6%, and crimes involving physical violence fell 8% according to statistics Police Insp.-Gen David Cohen presented to the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday. The police chief, who visited the cabinet last in late July, reiterated the organizational goals that he announced during that earlier meeting - a 15% decline in apartment break-and-entering cases and car theft, and a 30% decline in violence-related crimes. During the meeting, the top cop presented crime trends in recent months as well as organizational goals and key investigations, including the Heftsiba Construction Company collapse and even the neo-Nazi cell revealed by police hours earlier. Cohen highlighted the issue of illegal weapons use, characterizing it as a widespread phenomenon that impacts the character and level of violence in Israeli society. Currently, he said, there was the risk that a simple disagreement could erupt in to an incident with multiple casualties due to weapons use. Police, he added, had noted an upswing in armament among crime syndicates, increasing police concern that a crime war could lead to the injury or death of innocent bystanders. He also addressed the subject of the service presented to the public at various police stations throughout the country, emphasizing that there was currently no correlation between the demand for police services and the number of police officers and equipment allotted in the current budget. Cohen recommended that stations be enlarged according to population growth, and emphasized that there was currently a dearth of manpower in the stations. Currently, 2100 police officers carrying out mandatory national service in the ranks of the police are helping to plug that gap, working in patrol and police control centers. Cohen also mentioned the physical and infrastructure problems associated with many of the police stations in Israel, many of which are still housed in Mandate-era buildings, the so-called "Taggart Fortresses" built for the Palestine Mandatory Police following the Arab riots of the late 20s. In light of these serious deficiencies, Cohen said, the police were striving to strengthen the individual stations through the existing "basket" of resources already extant within the police including staff officers from headquarters as well as Border Police companies. He also expressed optimism that the government will amend the National Service Law to allow for the integration of mandatory-service police officers in a wider variety of positions. "The size of the mission placed upon the Israel Police demands an increase in the police's resources. I am looking for ways to assist," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said to Cohen following the briefing.

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