Sunday, May 1, 2011

Justly or Wrongly Convicted?


Inbal Doron


Crime rates in Israel have been falling over the past five years; these were the findings of the last annual report of the Israel Police Force.  What about crime rates in Jerusalem?
In 2009, 11,550 residents of Jerusalem were convicted of felonies –  the equivalent of 1.5% of Jerusalem’s population.  Of the convicted, 1,400 were minors under the age of 17 (12%), and another 19% were young adults, between the ages of 17 and 21.

The distribution of felonies showed that 36% were social order offenses, 21% were offenses physical crimes, 19% were property crimes and another 13% were drug related. 

The percentage of males among the criminally convicted is considerably high at 88%.  Crime types which are almost exclusively dominated by males (defined as 95% or more of convicted felons being male) include murder and manslaughter, sexual assault, drug-related crimes and licensing offenses. Of felonies committed by females, an internal distribution study showed that the crimes were mostly concentrated in the areas of offenses against person and against public order: 37% and 32% respectively.

A longitudinal study of the data does not demonstrate any significant trend or change in the number of crimes committed, with the exception of the number of drug offenses committed in the past decade.  In 1999, 315 cases of drug trafficking were opened, and another 710 cases of drug use.  By 2009, the numbers had jumped to 610 cases of drug trafficking (nearly 100% increase) and another 1,120 cases involving drug use (60% increase). 

   


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