Police chief unveils new policing plan

Greater emphasis to be placed on serious traffic crimes over minor infractions.

March 4, 2012 23:07
2 minute read.
New traffic enforcement cameras

New traffic enforcement cameras 390. (photo credit: Public Security Ministry)


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Israel Police will continue to cut down on the number of tickets for minor traffic infractions in favor of emphasizing enforcement of serious traffic crimes, Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino said on Sunday.

Danino said the emphasis would go towards stopping more aggressive violations like running red lights or bypassing traffic by way of the shoulder, rather than towards speeding tickets. The plan is a continuation of efforts launched by Danino over the past year, including the roll-back of the use of quotas for officers, which he said has meant 250,000 fewer traffic tickets issued in Israel over the past six months.

The new emphasis will potentially be made much easier by the traffic cameras now in use across the country.

Danino’s comments came during a briefing with reporters on Sunday in which he unveiled a new police operational guideline program called “Turning Point.”

According to Danino, the plan will place heaviest emphasis on providing service to citizens, including efforts taken to boost performance of 100 emergency call centers, which he said currently receive an average of nine million calls per year. He said the police force is looking to increase the number of veteran police officers manning the call centers, but admitted it’s a hard job to recruit officers for.

Danino said the plan will radically change the way each police station is evaluated, with a series of points awarded for a number of criteria. Under the new system, 40% of the station’s assessment will be based on its “deterrence” – how it meets arrest and indictment goals, 40% will be based on feedback from citizens in their patrol area and 20% will be based on internal assessments carried out by each station, based on such things as worker satisfaction and manpower.

The new guidelines will also mean a far greater push for an increase in the number of indictments reached, especially for serious crimes. Danino said an indictment is made in about 1 out of every 10 crimes in Israel, a figure he wants to dramatically increase.

When asked if the push for more indictments would drive young investigators to pursue even shoddy cases, he expressed his confidence that indictments will still only be presented when there is enough evidence.

Danino also described a new emphasis on speaking to local communities and basing policing on which issues are the most central to residents.

In addition, the inspector-general described plans to build new police stations in a number of Arab towns and villages across the country.

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