NEW YORK – In order to decrease the crime rate in Israel, local police forces must eradicate so-called minor crimes, such as purse-snatching, prostitution and assault, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in an exclusive interview Monday.
"This was one of the more important decisions that helped me fight the ever-increasing crime rate in New York," he said.
Due to the recent onslaught of horrific murders in Israel, local authorities called to mind the mythological mayor who managed to clean up the mean streets of New York.
Giuliani suggests Israel should begin its fight on crime by dealing initially with minor crimes, or the "broken windows" theory, as he refers to it.
'Clamp down on drunk-drivers'
"When burglars break one of a building's windows, the damage is not great," he said. "But when all of the building's windows are smashed, the building is destroyed. The crime-fighting philosophy I introduced in New York says that you must prevent the breaking of the lone window to prevent graver crimes."
Giuliani said that when he began his term as mayor he decided to battle the "squeegee" men (car window cleaners) who were harassing drivers.
"These were scary characters who made you pay whether you wanted to or not," he said. "We decided to focus on them and get rid of them. I understood we were in need of a victory. I knew if we would win, it would give the city's residents a sense that crime can be fought."
After the "squeegee" men the city waged war on the graffiti artists, drug-pushers, prostitutes, and so forth and so on.
The second weapon utilized by Giuliani to fight crime was the formation of the New York Police Department's Comp Stat Unit, which was created to provide the police with snapshots of preliminary crime statistics which allow tactical planning and deployment of resources to fight crime.
"If, for example, we saw that the rate of car theft cases was up in Queens, we urged the local precinct's commander to propose a plan to fight the phenomenon," Giuliani said. "If the commander said he needed more cops, we supplied him with them, and we held him responsible."
Currently Israel employs only 26 police officers for every 10,000 citizens, as opposed to 55 officers for every 10,000 people during his tenure as mayor.
When asked whether Israel Police should recruit more officers, Giuliani said, "I want to emphasize the fact that you cannot solve crime by merely adding more officers, but you need to have enough officers to maintain the flexibility to carry out various strategic operations."
According to Giuliani, fighting domestic crime is the most difficult, as it takes a long time before results can be seen.
"This type of violence occurs behind closed doors, and it takes a lot of psychology and proper care to convince women to complain against the husbands who beat them," he said. "In many cases the fear of the husband's revenge prevents the (battered) woman from cooperating with the police."
'We need him too'
On the other hand, Giuliani claimed it is easier to deal with gangs of criminals.
"You need good intelligence, just like when you fight terror," he said. "With good intelligence you can eradicate them and bring about arrests and indictments."
Regarding the ever-growing teen violence in Israel, Giuliani said young police officers should be positioned in nightclubs so they may track down potential wrongdoers.
"You must clamp down on young drunken drivers. In New York, we took away their cars," he said. "You can do this in Israel. Take their cars and drivers licenses. I have no doubt this would have an impact."
Giuliani laughed when he was told Yedioth Ahronoth's editor recently published an article titled, "An Israeli Giuliani required," but his media consultant Sonny Mandel said, "We need him too, let us keep him."