Aharonovitch: Youths commit 7% of all crimes

Public Security Minister says 24,400 criminal cases involving youths were opened by police in 2011, a 12% drop from 2010.

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February 14, 2012 23:27
1 minute read.
Broken window [illustrative].

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Some seven percent of all criminal offenses are carried out by youths, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Tuesday, at a conference in Beersheba dedicated to the welfare of minors.

Aharonovitch said 24,400 criminal cases involving youths were opened by police in 2011, representing a 12% drop compared to 2010.

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“It is no secret that the State of Israel deals with many threats from outside and within, but we must not overlook... the serious phenomenon of youth crime, which poses a real threat to the future of many Israeli youths, and seriously harms the fabric of life in the country,” the minister said.

Aharonovitch also praised the younger generation, saying it was “excellent and unique [and] smart.”

“It volunteers, and contributes [to society],” he said, adding that “the difficult security reality that characterizes our country caused it to grow up before its time.”

He said programs aimed at preventing youths from falling into a life of crime were key to cutting offenses, and listed several projects that operate out of his ministry, such as the City Without Violence Program.

Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino said police were taking a tough line on underage drinking, adding that this approach was vital to preventing violence and thuggery among teenagers.

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He urged other state institutions to join the battle against youth crime, calling for a mix of education, prevention, rehabilitation of underage offenders, and deterrence to tackle the issue.

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