Israeli police fear releasing African migrant crime figures

Police did not want to release the numbers because “labeling of this kind may harm public safety and security as a result of the population’s reactions.”  

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Crime data released by the Israel Police and published by Ynet on Monday indicates that Eritrean and Sudanese illegals commit disproportionately more crimes in comparison to the general population.

For example, in 2017, 543 cases were opened against African migrants for assault – 1.3% of all such cases but proportionally 3.5 times higher than the rest of the population. There were 72 cases opened for sexual crimes- 4.3 times higher.

However, the number of actual convictions was not released, making it impossible to determine if the police have been arresting innocent migrants disproportionately.

The report emphasized that police did not release statistics regarding the most serious crimes – murder or attempted murder.

The authorities were reluctant to issue the specific breakdown by country of origin and had refused to do so for the last five years. The information was released now because the Israeli Immigration Policy Center (IIPC) demanded it under the Freedom of Information Act.

The only information given by police in recent years was crime data on the foreign population as a whole, which includes cases opened against tourists and legal workers from abroad.

Read  'Restoring law and order' - Inside Ben-Gvir's plan for an Israeli National Guard

“Labeling of this kind may harm public safety and security as a result of the population’s reactions to the labeling,” the police said, also quoting from a clause in the Freedom of Information Act that says, “A public authority shall not provide information which in its disclosure is liable to harm the security of the state and the public.”

Unlike the police, the IIPC, which supports the deportation of illegal migrants, was not fearful that the Israeli public would react with violence towards the migrants as a result of releasing the information.

“The time has come to put an end to all the false information that is disseminated on the subject,” said IIPC spokesperson Yonatan Jakubowicz. “The figures received from the Israel Police prove unequivocally that crime rates among infiltrators are much higher than their share of the population in all categories that affect the sense of security of Israeli citizens.

“The law enforcement and justice systems should internalize that they have to budget appropriate resources to deal with the phenomenon, come down harder on those convicted in order to restore deterrence, and enforce the Entry into Israel Law, which states that infiltrators posing a danger to public safety will be transferred to the Saharonim facility until they are expelled from the country,” he stated.

Read  Ben-Gvir drops IDF immunity law for anti-extortion legislation: report