Police: Immigrant Youth Twice as Likely to Commit Crimes

Israeli police (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Israeli police. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The crime rate for immigrant youth is twice that for youths born in Israel, police said in a report based on police and Absorption Ministry figures. Over the past three years, about 2,300 cases were opened against immigrants aged 13 through 19, which was 10 percent of all the cases in which teens were charged, despite the fact that immigrant teens constituted just 5 percent of that age group.

Programs to alleviate crime among teen immigrants cost the state about NIS 20 million in 2015, the report said. The report said that the total cost to the state of crime committed by immigrant teens amounts to hundreds of millions of shekels a year in direct and indirect costs.

Each incident of crime, trial and conviction in which a teen is involved costs the state an average of NIS 600,000, the report said, when costs of the actual damage, as well as the costs of imprisonment, trial services, police time and other expenses are taken into account. Nearly all the in-trouble teens are from families that immigrated either from Ethiopia or former Soviet Union countries, said the study.

A separate study presented to President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday evaluated the effect of several programs to prevent teens from taking up crime. The largest program, “Sikuyim” (Opportunities), has been able to reduce teen crime by about 17 percent, the study showed.

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