A special unit set up in Netanya has reduced the number of those currently wanted for evading police or court orders from about 1,250 to just 33.
By MIRIAM BULWAR DAVID-HAY (TRANSLATED)
A pioneering program in Netanya, in which a special police unit has been set up solely to find and bring in people wanted for police questioning or to answer charges in court, has proven so successful that police around the country are considering copying it, reports www.mynet.co.il. Since coming into operation in January this year, the special unit has reduced the number of those currently wanted for evading police or court orders from about 1,250 to just 33.
According to the report, the idea for the special unit came up at a meeting of Sharon district police late last year. Police were discussing how they could be more effective in fighting crime, and noted that one of their biggest failures was failing to locate people wanted by police or the courts in time, with the result being that in many instances cases "aged" and ended up getting erased from the books, even when the charges were serious.
The report said police decided to set up a pioneering unit in Netanya, comprising six police officers dedicated solely to seeking out and finding wanted people, and the results have been an undoubted success. Out of 178 people sought by the unit in March 2009, 176 were found - a success rate of almost 99 percent, compared with the 51% who managed to "disappear" and avoid the legal system before the unit was established. The report said police are now considering setting up other similar units throughout the Sharon area, and later across Israel.
A spokesman for the unit said the missing offenders would also be found, adding: "There are no more compromises." He said that at the top of the unit's list of priorities were those wanted for domestic violence, followed by property thieves. He said the problem for police was not in finding known criminals, because their whereabouts were known, but in finding people wanted on first offenses who had no police records.
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