Netanyahu uses British tactics to fight crime wave

Suspect Avi Dar in court after being charged with killing a Jerusalem woman. It was one of 14 murders in August

Suspect Avi Dar in court after being charged with killing a Jerusalem woman. It was one of 14 murders in August

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has come out with a five-point plan for dealing with the rise in crime in Israel, based upon British and American experience.

Mr Netanyahu published his plan following a wave of crime in which 14 Israelis have been murdered in less than a month.

In a special radio interview, Mr Netanyahu termed the violence “inner terrorism” and said, “if missiles are fired at us, we respond fiercely immediately. In the same way I am not prepared to accept any kind of terrorism against Israeli citizens.”

One of the points is to set up closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) networks in Israel’s 50 largest cities to deter criminals and help police reach crimes scenes faster. Mr Netanyahu addressed the concerns of civil rights campaigners by saying that “Britain, the mother of democracies, out of concern for civilian life, has more CCTV cameras than any other country and it has reduced levels of violence.”

Another British measure he is planning to introduce is the prohibition of selling alcohol in shops and petrol stations after 9pm.

He said that “Israel is still one of the countries with a low incidence of alcohol-related violence but it is going up and we have to reverse that trend.”

The plan includes also no-tolerance measures, such as those that were used in New York by former Mayor Rudi Giuliani. These include a much heavier police presence on Israeli streets, a beefed-up “City Police” in addition to the national police force and legislation that mandates much stiffer prison sentences for violent offenders.

There will also be a new anti-violence programme in schools and measures that will allow headteachers to suspend and expel violent students.

    Last updated: 1:47pm, September 3 2009