By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER
Juvenile crime dropped by 7.6 percent overall in the past year, but the reduction is even greater among immigrant youth.
Crime fell 10% among immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and 11% for those from Ethiopia between January 1 to November 15 of this year, as compared to the same period last year.
In raw numbers, of the 19,211 police files opened on juveniles in the last year, 4,400 were for newcomers: 3,241 for FSU immigrants and 720 for Ethiopians, and the remaining for those who came from elsewhere.
Assistant Commander Suzie Ben-Baruch, in charge of the youth division, pointed to programs sponsored by the Immigrant Absorption Ministry as contributing to the improved statistics in reporting the numbers.
The programs include "From Danger to a Chance," which gives 500 at-risk young immigrants after-school activities, Hebrew help and support in talking to the police; "Chances," which partners with Israel police to rehabilitate kids who already have police files; and two projects specifically aimed at combatting drug and alcohol abuse.
"We are happy to see that the resources and programs set up for the sake of children at risk have left their mark," said Mirla Gal, director-general of the Immigrant Absorption Ministry.