Violence, Crime and Policing in Arab Towns

Cite As:
Nohad Ali, Lewin-Chen Ruth. Violence, Crime and Policing in Arab Towns Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2019.,-Crime-and-Policing-in-Arab-Towns

Link to the full publication


In recent years, there has been a steep rise in the rates of crime and violence in Arab society. In 2018, 71 Arab civilians were killed. The proportion of those killed that year is 61%. 15 of those killed in Arab society - women.

The main causes of violence in Arab society are: inadequate police presence in Arab communities; The socio-economic situation of the Arab population, with half of all Arab families defined as poor and almost two-thirds of Arab children living below the poverty line; Widespread unemployment - especially among young men and women; Changes in the role of the family in Arab society and the transition to a more individualistic society cause the family not to be a source of security and law enforcement as it was in the past, but the authorities still do not play this role satisfactorily in the lives of Arab citizens; Inequalities in services provided to Arab citizens, which is reflected, inter alia, in the presence of low government institutions in Arab communities; And more

Main findings:

  • More than a third of Arab citizens (35.8%) feel personal insecurity in their communities because of violence, compared to only 12.8% among Jewish citizens.
  • The most worrying phenomenon for Arab citizens is violence - the rate of concern is 80.3%.
  • Violence against women also worries Arab citizens; Women are more concerned about the issue than men: About 71% of Arab women are concerned about violence against women, compared to just 53% of men.
  • The fear of being harmed by various phenomena of violence and crime is greater among Arab society than among Jewish society: Only 19.6% of Jewish citizens fear being harmed by violent offenses, compared with 59.3% among Arab citizens.

• Compared to Jewish society, the proportion of Arabs who or their family members or friends was affected by various expressions of high violence in all phenomena in Jewish society: for example, 11% of Arab respondents indicated that they or their acquaintances were affected by the use of cold or hot weapons compared to only 1.2% among The Jews.

  • Nearly a quarter of Arab citizens (23.5%) experienced violence against them or their family members or experienced verbal violence against them.
  • As for the attitudes towards the police, 61.7% of Arab citizens who experienced violence against them responded that they did not file a complaint with the police for the case. This finding indicates the apparent distrust of the police which leads many citizens to seek alternatives to solving the problem outside the law enforcement agencies.
  • The proportion of Arab citizens who appreciate the police treatment in their last contact with them as good or very good stands at 34.9% compared to 47.9% among Jews.
  • Arab citizens believe that the police function is good in areas of law and order enforcement: 45.2% of them said that the police function is good or very good at enforcing traffic laws in Arab society, and 32.7% are satisfied with the police's functioning towards law enforcement and order. However, satisfaction is declining in other areas - safeguarding Arab civilian security, fighting crime in Arab society, and coping with and dealing with drug trafficking, war in Arab families of crime, and war on violence. As for the last field, only 16.1% of Arab citizens believe that the police's functioning is good or very good.
  • Another alarming finding is the perceptions and feelings of Arab citizens regarding firearms: 90.8% of Arabs agree or tend to agree that Israel can easily obtain firearms compared to 33.8% of Jewish society.
  • The most influential factor in the prevalence of violent use of weapons is the light penalties imposed on violent offenders: 84.7% of Arab respondents believe that this factor is highly influential, as are 77% of Jewish respondents. Many Arab respondents (82.6%) believe that the availability of weapons has a major impact on the use of the weapons, compared with 50.6% in Jewish society. In this context, it is important to note that the presence of police officers is also seen as a factor affecting the violent use of weapons (67% of Arab respondents and 53.8% of Jewish respondents).
  • Approximately 44% of Arab citizens are very willing or very willing to participate in the fight against violence in their communities and about 29% of Arabs are only moderately willing to do so. This finding indicates a mediocre willingness to turn into such a struggle and the sense of despair that gives Arabs doubts about their ability to change the harsh realities, and so they forego any effort to combat community violence.
  • In response to the question of the effectiveness of the various factors in the fight against violence, most surveyed responded that the family is the most effective factor in reducing violence in Israel (59.7% stated that they are very satisfied or very satisfied with the effectiveness of the treatment). The education system achieves relatively high satisfaction: 54.7% of citizens are satisfied with their functioning. In contrast, leadership in the Arab society, the Israeli police, the Knesset and the government is seen as effective in reducing violence in Israel: only 24.7% of Arab citizens are satisfied with the role of Arab leadership, 24% are satisfied with the functioning of the police, 16.8% are functioning and 16.2% are functioning. Of the government.
  • In general, the level of confidence of Arab citizens in the Israeli police is low at 26.1% (compared with 42.2% in Jewish society).
  • Nevertheless, despite the low level of trust, the police are the main factor asked by those in Arab society if they or any of their household members are harmed by violence or threat of assault and violence: 58% stated that they would contact the police, 17% responded that they would act on their own and 16% Please note that they will contact other parties to protect them

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