'Code of Silence' Thwarts Police Corruption Investigations

Head of department of internal affairs says that officers repeatedly fabricate stories, tamper with evidence.

Police investigated for unlawful use of force repeatedly tamper with the investigations and cover up their actions the head of internal affairs for the Israel Police told MKs at a special Knesset meeting on Tuesday.

Internal affairs commander Herzel Shviro said that police under investigation implore their fellow officers to testify that the complainant reached for their weapon and they acted in self-defense, adding that typically they will do so in order to protect the reputation of a fellow officer.

Shviro also the investigation of police from Nahariya suspected of plotting attacks against a local mob boss has been repeatedly thwarted by police tampering with the investigation and a 'Code of Silence' amongst officers.

The meeting was held in response to a report released by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel found that only 3% of complaints issued against police result in an indictment. Shviro disputed the findings, stating that around 22% of complaints result in an indictment, of those 8.5% of a criminal nature.

During the meeting MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) leveled harsh criticism on the internal affairs division, stating that the body lacks the ability to carry out its investigations. In addition, a series of MKs from both the left and right present at the meeting said that the public has no faith in the department because of its incompetence.