MK Lavie: Police needs to be restructured after sexual harassment scandals
According to Lavie, "bandages cannot be used to fix what needs surgery," and firing and suspending police officers is not enough to solve the problem.
By LAHAV HARKOV
The Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women and Gender Equality is to hold a meeting on Wednesday, despite the election recess, to discuss the spate of alleged sexual harassment incidents in the police.“Those who are responsible for enforcing the law are serial law-breakers,” Committee chairwoman Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) said Sunday. “Sexual harassment by senior police officials requires a reorganization of the organization that degenerated.”The Yesh Atid MK said sexual harassment by men with authority to women are subordinate to them is a result of a non-egalitarian power structure that should not exist.According to Lavie, “Band- Aids cannot be used to fix that which needs surgery,” and firing and suspending police officers is not enough to solve the problem. “The rotten organizational structure needs to be uprooted at the source. The police must be reorganized immediately.”Lavie requested the meeting two weeks ago, but only received a positive answer on Sunday. “It cannot be that we can’t have meetings on such essential issues during the election campaign,” Lavie said.Also Sunday, MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) called for the State Comptroller to investigate the police’s response to its officers committing sex crimes.“From the reports in the media, it seems that sexual harassment has become a norm in the police’s ranks and that, even though the workers knew about it, no action was taken to stop them or prevent their recurrence. Their exposure in the media was the only motivation to open an investigation of these matters,” Rozin stated.AdvertisementRozin added that, in a democratic country, the body that is supposed to enforce the law, cannot be involved in ignoring and covering up violations of the law.The Meretz MK said that the situation has reduced the public’s trust in the police as an organization that is supposed to bring justice, since the police seems to be an unsafe place for female workers who do not feel that they can complain about harassment.
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