Crime down but youth drug offenses up in Ra'anana

The numbers of most types of crime committed in Ra'anana fell during 2008, but the number of youths in trouble with the law over drugs rose, according to figures released by the Sharon district police force last week. The figures also showed that violence, sexual assaults and property crimes in the city all dropped last year, reports the Hebrew weekly Ha'ir Ra'anana. According to the newspaper, police were pleased to report that there were no murders or attempted murders in Ra'anana in 2008, and that there were falls in most other types of crime in the city. Although there were three rapes in 2008 - the same number as in 2007 - there was a 37 percent drop in other sexual offenses (45 in 2008 compared with 72 in 2007), a 45% drop in indecent assaults (17 in 2008 compared with 31 in 2007), and a 25% drop in sexual harassment. In addition, there was a 25% drop in the number of offenses involving violence, from 358 in 2007 to 267 in 2008. The report also said the number of property burglaries fell by 8%, from 536 in 2007 to 492 in 2008, the number of car break-ins fell by 18%, from 547 in 2007 to 447 in 2008, and the number of car thefts fell by 46%, from 484 in 2007 to 260 in 2008. Following the same trend, there was a fall of 9% in the number of youths involved in property crimes, from 43 in 2007 to 39 in 2008, and a fall of 3% in the number of youths involved in crimes of violence. But when it came to youth and drugs, the figures were not so good, with an 18% percent rise in the number of youths involved in drug offenses, from 33 in 2007 to 39 in 2008. A police spokesman said the overall numbers "reflect a general trend of a fall in the extent of crime in the Sharon area," and that the rising number of youths involved in drug offenses was the result of greater police activity in this area. He said that exposing the numbers of youths involved in drug offenses was "part of the war against drugs."