The Department of Planning, Budget and Monitoring in the Ministry of Public Security Publishes an annual study on the economic damage due to Crime in Israel. Despite the complexity in assessing the economic damage, the need to place preventive and enforcement activity in an economic and rational framework is required in order to enable the making of decisions based on a cost-versus-benefit analysis.
The financial damage caused by crime dropped in 2010 to an estimated 14.7 billion NIS. According to the Ministry of Public Security, this is 2.4% less than the financial toll crime took in 2009. However, the average cost per crime reached an all-time high in 2010, estimated at 8,675 NIS. The financial damage caused by violent crimes increased by 12%, and was estimated at 2.9 Billion NIS.
Of the financially damaging crimes, sex offenses are the most expensive. On average, a sex offense case can cost Israel 37,700 NIS per case; while violent crimes cause an average financial damage of 28,600 NIS. Property offenses cost about 9,500 NIS per incident, and fraud causes cost 6,500 NIS per case. Property and fraud offenses were also the main criminal cause of financial damage in 2010, with the combination of the two constituting about 50% of the overall financial damage caused by crime in 2010.
The overall "Burden of Crime" – that is, the financial toll taken by crime in terms of percentage of the national gross product, was estimated in 2010 at 1.8%. This constitutes a decrease compared to previous years. In 2009, for example, the burden of crime was estimated at 1.9%, while in 2003, at the all-time high, it was estimated at 2.9% of the national gross product. Similarly, the "Crime Tax" – the financial damage caused by crime per person, was estimated at 1,934 NIS in 2010: the lowest estimate registered at the ministry since it had began estimating the financial damages caused by crime.
The accumulated financial damage caused by crime between 2001 and 2010, according to an estimate made by the Ministry of Public Security, has reached about 158.1 Billion NIS.
The Ministry of Public Security, much like similar ministries around the world, views the data of financial damage caused by crime as a central tool in planning the effective allocation of the limited public resources, both on the national and a ministerial level.
The data regarding financial damages caused by crime also has socio-economic significance. Financial significance must therefore be attributed to the fight against crime and the attempts of diminishing it, much like the "risk premium" attributed to terror threats. Diminishing the financial damage caused by crime, by furthering the fight against crime, will bring forth improvements in many facets of the market and will contribute to the creation of a necessary infrastructure for the economic growth of the Israeli market.