Police Commissioner Insp. Gen. Yohanan Danino, speaking at the Herzliya Conference on Tuesday, provided an acute description of the state of the country's youth.
"The youth in Israel is violent and consumes drugs and alcohol," Danino said during a panel titled "Personal security, law enforcement and national strength."
"Teen violence, in my eyes, is as grave as the external threats that Israel contends with," he said. "The threat is expanding and changing shapes, and it is compounded by the issue of drugs and alcohol. We look with concern toward the future of our youth."
Crime figures for 2012 point to a rise in crimes involving youths. In Tel Aviv, for example, the police opened 5,800 new case files for teenagers — a three percent increase from 2011.
According to Danino, the majority of the criminal investigations involving teens were drug related. "We are paying a heavy national price for the fact that there aren't enough policemen in residential areas in general, and in Arab areas specifically," the police chief said.