Violence, Crime and Policing in Arab Society: Personal and Community Security Index- 2019

Cite As:
Nohad Ali, Lewin-Chen Ruth. Violence, Crime and Policing in Arab Society: Personal and Community Security Index- 2019 Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2020.

Link to the full Report

The 2019 Personal Security Index is the third report issued on the subject of violence, personal security, and policing in Arab communities in Israel.
The index was launched in recognition of the alarming reality in Arab society, which has reached new peaks in recent years.
Every year we see a further rise in the level of crime and violence in Arab society: A total of 71 Arab citizens were killed in 2018, accounting for 61 percent of all murder and manslaughter victims in Israel in that year – three times the weight of the Arab population in the state.
In 2019, the number of murder and manslaughter victims in Arab society was 89 – the highest in any year since the establishment of the State of Israel. This figure constituted 65% of the total number of murder and manslaughter victims in Israel in that year.

The phenomenon of violence in Arab society did not emerge in a vacuum. There are many reasons for the problem, principally:an inadequate police presence in the Arab communities; the socioeconomic condition of the Arab population – half of all Arab families are defined as poor, and almost two-thirds of Arab children live below the poverty line; high unemployment, particularly among young people; changes in the role of the family in Arab society, including a transition to a more individualistic society, so that the family no longer constitutes a source of security and law enforcement as it did in the past – while the official authorities are still not filling this function adequately in the lives of Arab citizens; inequality in services for Arab citizens, as reflected for example in the sparse presence of government institutions in Arab communities, and so on.

The 2019 personal and community security index is based on a survey that focused on four spheres:

(1) feelings and attitudes among Arab citizens regarding the scale of violence and crime, and prominent phenomena in this field, in their communities;

(2) the level of exposure of Arab citizens to violence and crime, whether directly or among their friends and relatives;

(3) the willingness of Arab citizens to help in the struggle against violence; and

(4) attitudes among Arab citizens toward the police and their impressions concerning police behavior toward them.

The findings of the 2019 survey highlight the lack of policing in Arab society. The reports by the Arab respondents paint a depressing picture in terms of violence and crime and the impact these have on the lives of Arab citizens. This reality includes the use of firearms, drug dealing, physical violence, and intimidation.

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