Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich is not backing down from a decision he announced last week, that the police will no longer investigate anonymous complaints alleging sexual harassment by policemen.
Channel 2's website noted this fact with some degree of wonder on Monday, since Alsheich has predictably drawn fire from “women’s groups.”
However, it also cited an unnamed source in the Justice Ministry's Department for Investigation of Policemen who said that anonymous complaints would continue to be investigated, despite Alsheich's statement. Minister of Public Security, Gliad Erdan, did not comment, the channel added.
Alsheich announced the new policy last week in a speech before policewomen in honor of International Women’s Day.
“The anonymous letters have turned into a culture of settling accounts within the ranks of the police,” he said, “and therefore the police will no longer act upon anonymous letters that raise the suspicion of offenses committed by policemen.”
“In an organization in which police officers are obligated to report [about offenses they are aware of], there is no need for anonymous letters,” he added.
Complainants will have to be willing to stand behind their complaints, from now on, if they seek to have them investigated by police.
The term “women’s groups” generally refers to feminist lawmakers, journalists and organizations. While these tend to have monolithic views, and are strongly linked to the New Israel Fund, they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of most women. It is thus quite possible that most women, if asked, would support Alsheich’s position.