Fewer security offenses last year in Judea and Samaria

A noticeable drop in the number of security offenses in the police district of Judea and Samaria helped characterize the year 2007, an annual summary released by the police on Thursday said. According to the report, the district saw a 19 percent drop in security offenses and a 2.3% increase in the number of cases in which police were able to successfully identify - though not necessarily apprehend - suspects. Increased collaboration between the police and other security forces in the West Bank played a key role in producing the drop, according to Judea and Samaria Police spokesman Dani Poleg. "Our security vision is shaped by the four-legged model, whereby we form one leg, the one which enforces the law and brings suspects to trial, while the IDF, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), and the coordinator of government activities in the territories form the other three legs," Poled said. "This year, we have seen true cooperation and coordination between us, leading to quality work," he added. "The saying here is that the police think about security and the IDF thinks about criminality. That sums up our cooperative approach." Attaching names and faces to the culprits behind crimes was a leading theme in the district's annual report, with Judea and Samaria police claiming a 71.8% overall increase in suspect identification last year. In total, the district saw a 15% drop in criminal cases between 2006 and 2007. Car thefts, a major problem in the district, were slightly down this year, and police managed to locate 130 of the 303 vehicles stolen in 2007, the report said. In 2006, by comparison, 119 vehicles were tracked down by police. Break-ins into vehicles were also down by an impressive 20%. Robberies decreased by 15%, though police were less successful in tracking down robbery suspects last year. Some 66% of all recorded thefts in the district involved vehicles, the data showed. The district's stats weren't all good, however, as figures showed a disquieting 15% increase in home burglaries in 2007, to 304. Violent crimes were down by 14% last year, with 1,533 violent offenses being recorded in 2007, compared with 1,789 in the previous year.