Alsheikh and Erdan
Alsheikh and Erdan Hillel Meir/TPS

Police will cancel some 300,000 criminal records of Israeli citizens on the occasion of Israel's 70th Independence Day celebrations.

Police Superintendent Roni Alsheikh presented the plan, explaining that there are clear criteria that will enable the automatic deletion of files closed for lack of evidence or lack of public interest.

"Israel Police is acting for situational prevention - to assist normative citizens in preventing mistakes and the committing of offenses, and sometimes also to assist those who committed an offense to return to the fold and lead lives of law-abiding normative citizens," Alsheikh explained.

Criminal records will be deleted for citizens whose data in retrospect indicate that they are normative citizens who might have been suspected and had not succeeded in refuting the suspicions against them or had faltered on a one-time basis, but who do not fit the definition of an offender. The outline is called "New Chance."

As a matter of course, this procedure is given to the citizen applying to police with a request to cancel a record. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary, police decided that it was appropriate to take exceptional steps, regardless of the citizen's appeal.

Within the framework of “New Chance,” the cancellation authority given to police will be expanded as mentioned above, and 339,000 investigation files involving some 300,000 citizens of the State of Israel, residents of the region, foreigners and tourists, of whom some 34,000 are minors, will be removed from the registry. Implementation of the outline will begin in the coming weeks.

It should be emphasized that within the framework of the outline, closed investigation files will not be canceled for serious offenses of violence, serious sexual offenses, security offenses, murder offenses and offenses under section 17 of the Crime Register and Rehabilitation of Offenders Law. Police will carry out cancellation of the files through a computerized mechanism.

Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, said that "this is very good news for civilians who have been interrogated on suspicion of criminal activity, which will remove the stain on their past. The Ministry of Public Security accompanied the initiative, which is in accordance will similar processes that I advanced in the past, with an approach viewing preservation of the rights of citizens, even those investigated by police, as a supreme value.”

"There is no reason that a cloud of suspicion should hover for years over the heads of citizens never charged with a criminal offense. I see great importance in the initiative to delete records, and welcome the fact that hundreds of thousands of citizens will be given the opportunity to open a new page on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel," Erdan added.

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