Cohen: Corruption rate affects Israel's status
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Police: Murder rate up in 2009

Commissioner Cohen presents annual summary in which he says police have not achieved their aims

Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen presented a summary of the past year Tuesday, during which he said that break-ins had decreased while murders were on the rise, and that arrests had increased while indictments dwindled.


"It was a good year, but we didn't achieve enough in decreasing violence," he said. "2010 should be a better year." The police's data is based on reported crimes, but recent surveys have indicated that only 43% of crimes are reported.


Cohen said that in general criminal activity was down by three percent, but that the murder rate had gone up: In 2009, 135 people were murdered, compared to 128 in 2008.


Arrests had also risen slightly, from 58,500 to 60,000. However the number of cases in which indictments were filed was down from 50,000 in 2008 to 45,000 this past year.


In comparison with the past four years vehicle theft was also down this year, by 34%, but the commissioner said he was dissatisfied with this as the police had aimed at a 40% decrease.


Cases of physical violence have decreased by just 17%, drawing another frown from Cohen. "What interests the public is mainly the issue of violence," he said.


Drug trafficking cases have steadily risen by 57% in the past four years, but Cohen said this was due to more enforcement and exposure.


However police were optimistic regarding traffic accidents, as the number of victims had decreased by 98 since 2008 and the number of accidents was also down.


The police commissioner said he planned to buckle down further on organized crime in coming years. He added that 11 of the 18 men police referred to as mob bosses were already behind bars, along with an additional 96 men belonging to various criminal organizations.


The Global Corruption Report for 2009 ranked Israel as the 32nd most corrupt country in the world, and Cohen said this reflected Israel's international status. He added that 160 indictments were filed against public figures in the past three years.


Regarding crime in the West Bank, Cohen said the government decision to remove checkpoints had caused an increase in stone-throwing and traffic accidents. He added that the settlers' 'price tag' policy would demand more forceful law enforcement in the area.


"The one responsible is the defense minister, but the police will have to handle the rioting," he said, and added that officers were taking a tough stance with leftists protesting illegally in the West Bank and the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.


פרסום ראשון: 01.26.10, 18:25
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