Northern District police handed out far more tickets for violating directives during the coronavirus crisis than did the other districts, as indicated by data received by Haaretz. According to the data, the district’s police issued almost a quarter of the total number of tickets handed out during the course of the crisis.
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The Northern District, commanded by Commissioner Shimon Lavi, is in charge of the region that includes the Galilee, the Valleys and the Golan, with a total population of 1.2 million. Northern District police handed out 15,636 tickets for violating directives, out of a national total 61,780 tickets.
For the sake of comparison, in the Tel Aviv district, with a similar population size, 8,767 tickets were issued, and in the Central District, responsible for 1.6 million people, 8,780 tickets. In the Jerusalem District, with about 1 million people, there were 9,684 tickets. In the Coastal District, which is also larger than the Northern District, 7,214 tickets handed out, and in the Southern District 8,205 tickets. The remainder were issed by the police of the Judea and Samaria District and by Border Policemen. The vast majority of tickets were handed for entering the public space contrary to the regulations.
The police provided the information in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Hazlaha NGO, at the request of Haaretz. The data did not include a segmentation of the number of tickets according to communities, as the newspaper had requested.
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The police were unable to explain why the number of tickets handed out in the Northern District is twice as high as in other districts. The police response: “The amount of police enforcement is a function of the number of violations and deviations from the regulations encountered by the police on the ground.
The fact is that in most instances where police encountered violations they preferred prevention, warning and explanation to enforcement and handing out tickets. At the same time, as is the case in other aspects of crime, there is an inexplicable difference between the various areas, which is not dependent on the police, as a result of observing the regulations and obeying directives on the part of citizens.”