Crime cost state NIS 13.7 billion in 2008

Crime cost Israel NIS 13.7 billion in 2008, according to a report released by the Public Security Ministry on Tuesday. The figure represents a 0.7% increase from 2007, despite an overall drop of 5.2% in overall reported crime in 2008. "The fall in crime levels and rise in crime's cost are not contradictory," Danny Karivaa, head of the Planning and Budgeting Department at the Public Security Ministry, told The Jerusalem Post. "Different sorts of crime are falling at different rates. And the more costly crimes, like car thefts and fraud, are falling less quickly then cheaper crimes, like standard property offenses," he added. According to the report, Israel had to pay NIS 121 billion to cover the costs of crime between 2001 and 2008. "On the big picture level, we have seen a decrease in the cost of crime, because in recent years police have really invested in tackling offenses, bringing the levels of crime down," Karivaa said. "When measured up to other countries in the West, we are fairly similar. We're not paying more than them for crime, but on the other hand, we have significantly higher security costs," he added. "This is why we need to invest more in the police and in crime fighting. We should be competing with the world by having low crime levels, because of the known security costs that we bear."