netanyahu - Nir Kafri - October 7 2010
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Lod, October 7, 2010. Photo by Nir Kafri
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Anyone looking for an appropriate description of crimes against the people can find it in the report submitted by the Public Security Ministry comptroller Yitzhak Segev in April 2010. The data appearing in the report are likely to shock not only the people, who are under the delusion that the police are their friends, and the State Prosecution, whose authority was bypassed by bad police officers. The data should keep Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and the prime minister awake at night, for they are directly responsible for the public's security and for police conduct.

The report cites hair-raising examples of complaints of police violence, which were not passed on to the Justice Ministry's Police Investigation Department as required by law. It notes the strange hours that the forensic laboratories work, police procedures that have not been updated for over a decade, managerial failures and gaps in professional knowledge. There is no explanation why the report was not published earlier.

The report, which should be seen as a harsh indictment against police conduct, makes it clear that the top brass, including the Public Security Ministry in charge, failed to act against the root of the failures and made do, at best, with correcting isolated matters.

The police's response to the report's release shows they do not understand the depth of the rot spreading in their ranks, or refuse to recognize it. "Israel Police sees the report as a tool for self-examination and a way to improve procedures," they commented. There can hardly be a more dismissive, scornful and impertinent comment in view of the grave findings, which raise the question of whether anyone in the police force ever checks anything.

Citizens should be allowed - and should even demand - to try the police officers who broke the law, pass the findings on to the State Prosecution and investigate what the police commissioner is doing (beyond the feeble comment he made ) to ensure the organization he is in charge of listens to the people and protects their life and property.

Had it been any other ministry, we could demand a police investigation. But in view of the report's findings, it is doubtful that we can rely on an investigation conducted by the police.

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