Monday, October 17

Police presence in Jaffa, nothing but a show

The police are still making their daily (and nightly ) shows. Jeeps on the streets, police cars cruising around, special units members on their motor cycles. Roadblocks stopping & searching cars and people as if they really mean it.

Yet is their anything behind this show?

Are they really doing something more than being present?

True, police presence on a certain street in in a certain neighborhood, brings down the street-crime rate in that particular street or neighborhood, for as long as the presence takes. (And usually during that time, the crime goes elsewhere, indoors or to another neighborhood). Crime is a business like any other, after all.

Yet it appears that even in Jaffa, it (police presence) is nothing but a show. The house of acquaintances of mine was burgled during the day, on Yom Kipur.
The owners (and their dog) were out for the day.
Nothing much was taken, because there was little to take in the first place. Only money. the thieves did not take the computer, DVD nor TV.
On Yom Kipur there are very few cars on the streets and walking around on in Jaffa with a DVD or TV is suspicious, especially when the stores and repair workshops are closed.
So only a small amount of money was taken (in addition to the horrible sense of having your privacy invaded).

The house ofcourse was a terrible mess, as the thieves or thief had gone through all cupboards and storage places and thrown everything on the floor. Someone had also taken the time to go through the computer and read the football results on the internet...

My acquaintance called the police. They told him to come to the station, file a complaint ant that would be it.
"So i'll leave the rooms as it is, undisturbed, so you can come and take finger prints or whatever needs to be done". "That's not necessary, said the police man or women on the other side, " you can organize and clean, as there is no need to take fingerprints or anything, we won't come for that".

So unless the thief is caught by chance and he or she actually confesses, there will never be a way to prove the theft, as there is no link between the suspect and the particular break in. Also, perhaps the thief is known, has a record and the fingerprints are there.....
We will never know, as the police make no effort to come and gather the evidence. The crime scene is of no interest to them. What we've all learned from TV series (don't touch the crime scene) is useless. The police won't come in any case.

What it means is the following, if you live in Jaffa, forget about police protection or police services (they are supposed to serve us, the general population, right?). Also, forget about intensive policing, fighting crime, "zero tolerance" and whatever terminology the police spokes person and the people from the "mishlama" (the local municipality branch of the Tel Aviv- Yafo municipality) like to use.

It is all a show, to make the impression something is done. To perhaps provide some part of the public with a (false) sense of safety and security.

The thieves must also be pleased, they know that as long as they are not caught red-handed in the act and do not confess, there will never be proof against them.
So why do they have all those police cars and jeeps on the street? Why are people stopped and searched on the streets?
It's all a show and it has the effect of a show, short-lived for the public, a bitter & longer lasting memory for those stopped and searched.

But then, perhaps the person who broke in was a junkie, in need of some quick money to buy the next fix. The drug problem is not solved by policing, however intensive.
The "drug problem" is a symptom of a deeper social conflict and "crime fighting" is not a very efficient way of dealing with that.

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