'We need to eradicate violence'

Karadi to 'Post': Disintegration of social values is to blame for escalation.

karadi hands out 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
karadi hands out 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The disintegration of social values is the main catalyst behind the recent escalation in violence, Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi said Monday. “The police only come in at the end when there is a problem and everyone else has failed,” he told The Jerusalem Post, deflecting criticism that the police were not doing enough to protect the public. “The policeman is like a Tylenol, and what we need is an overall root canal, starting with the question [of] why people come to nightclubs with knives and rifles. And then we can begin to ask why they were not caught [by the police].” With disengagement complete, Karadi said he had set the eradication of violence from Israel’s streets as his top priority. He said the violence could only be curbed by a dramatic revolution in the education system, the police and the criminal justice system. “The problem starts at home, then at schools, then within the police and then with the prosecution and the courts,” he said. “Once all of these stages work there might be a chance to properly deal with the problem.” Karadi, who became Israel’s 15th police commissioner in August 2004, said violence in Israel was at one of the worst levels in the country’s history. “The level of violence within society has, over the past few years, been drastically escalating, not only in its scope but also in its severity,” he said. Karadi said the police force was understaffed and lacked necessary funds to make drastically needed improvements. One immediate solution to enhance the police’s ability to fight crime and provide the public with efficient service would be to recruit an additional 5,000 policemen, he said. Karadi said the population has grown over the past few years but the police force has been diminishing due to a lack of funds. While in 1996 there were 3.6 policemen per 1,000 citizens, today the ratio was 2.2 per 1,000, he said. Karadi also spoke about a plan he recently initiated to improve the police’s image and the level of service it provided the public. On Monday, he appointed Central District Police Cmdr. Benny Kaniak head of a task force to come up with recommendations on how the police could improve its effectiveness. Karadi said he would head a similar committee, but one made up of civilians so he could hear their criticism and ideas. “If there is one thing we are missing and I am unsatisfied with, it is the service to the public,” he said. “If we succeeded in carrying out the disengagement, then there is no reason why if you call 100 your call will be answered after five minutes and not after one minute, and that the patrol car will show up after 30 minutes and not after 10 minutes.”
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