The move is essentially meant to assist “ordinary citizen that might have slipped in his past,” whose police record might affect their day-to-day life, Alsheich said during a press conference at police headquarters in Jerusalem.
Alsheich said there are some 339,000 cases involving more than 300,000 people that would be affected by the move. Out of those, some 34,000 cases involve minors.
According to the plan, only records of minor offenses will be expunged. Crimes that involve death, severe sexual crimes, severe violence and security-related crimes will stay on the books.
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Until now, the procedure has usually been initiated by a citizen who asks the police to erase their criminal record. But as part of the new effort, the police will do so automatically.
Citizens will be able to check whether their record was erased. If the record was not expunged, a request can be filed asking to do so starting June 1.
Any cases that are still open will not be affected by the move.
Alsheich said the move is part of a police reform that is intended to differentiate between normative citizens and criminals, “and to face the fact that the normative citizen might slip and commit a crime.”
“The Israel Police is working in order to take preventive steps... helping ordinary citizens from making mistakes and committing crimes on the one hand, and assisting those who committed crimes to go back on track and conduct the lives of law-abiding citizens,” he said.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said, “This is an important message for those who were questioned over criminal offenses... now the doubt that was cast over their past will be gone.
“There is no reason that a cloud of suspicion would chase for years citizens who were never indicted,” he added.
“I see a great importance in an initiative that will erase these records and give hundreds of the thousands of citizens the opportunity for a fresh start, as part of our celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.”