Prisons Service staff complaints against co-workers rise dramatically

Majority of complaints in IPS and police are about salary and payments, second most common category is commander-subordinate relationships.

police crowd 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
police crowd 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Although recent reports suggested that civilian complaints against police may be dropping, a report issued by the Israel Police and Prisons Service Personnel Ombudswoman indicates that the number of complaints issued by members of the police and IPS against their co-workers is on the rise. Ombudswoman Cmdr. (ret.) Hanah Keller reported that the number of complaints submitted within the police force rose by 26% between 2005 and 2006. That rise, however, was dwarfed by the number of complaints submitted by their colleagues in the IPS, which rose by over 57% in the same period. The report, which covered data gathered between 2004 and 2006, was delivered Monday morning to the Knesset Interior Committee chaired by MK Ofir Paz-Pines and to Public Security Minister Avi Dichter. Keller attributed the drastic rise in IPS complaints to the quick growth of the organization during the same period. In 2006, the IPS began to take control of all of the IDF jails in which security prisoners were held, integrating a large number of new wardens into its ranks. In contrast, however, the number of complaints filed by people serving their compulsory national service in the police force has declined drastically throughout the past three years. Whereas in 2004, a full 23% of complaints were submitted by compulsory service personnel, the percentage dropped to mere 6% by 2006. The majority of complaints in both the IPS and the police were about salary and payments, with an annual average of 27.5% of complaints on the subject. The second most common category of complaints was commander-subordinate relationships. The delicate nature of that field was evident in the fact that according to the report, 85% of those issuing complaints were not officers. The report did note, however, that the subjects of these complaints included lieutenants and assistant-commanders. One complaint was even submitted against the police commissioner, but the complaint referred to a period before he became commissioner, when he held rank of commander. In any case, Keller reported, the vast majority of complaints - approximately 68% - were found to be unjustified.