Chief of Police Roni Alshich joined the Bar Association for their conference opening the new legal year.
In his speech, Alshich addressed rampant crime in Arab neighborhoods, public corruption, and the public outcry over police discrimination against Ethiopians.
Alshich emphasized that the police intends to strengthen its presence in the eastern part of Jerusalem, and among the Arab sector in general. "We neglected the police in eastern Jerusalem...we must restore governance, it reduces terror. The citizens of eastern Jerusalem will also join the police service, though the road is still long."
Regarding the Arab sector, there exists severe internal crime due to lack of policing," added Alshich. "It's a long process...We need to emphasize prevention, and understandably not to neglect enforcement. There are criminal gangs among Israeli Arabs, including Palestinians of Judea and Samaria, and we are working and trying to achieve better results."
In light of several recent high-profile public corruption investigations, Alshich praised the police force, saying, "We have made nice progress. I don't think we need to change our working method."
When addressing accusations of violence against members of the Ethiopian community, Alshich emphasized, "Ethiopian immigrants are Jews. In all the studies in the world, migrants are more involved in crime than the general population, and I am including with that the Arabs. When a policeman meets a suspect, his mind suspects him more, and that is natural. We have started to take care of this, and there is plan which works closely with community leaders to reduce their involvement in crime."
I am for closing cases where there is friction, and which don't include any serious crimes," Alshich continued on his plans to improve relations between the police and the Ethiopian community. "The confidence descendants of Ethiopia have in the police is rising, and I am happy that there is leadership in the community. The goal is to reduce crime, not fill the jails."