Crimes against vulnerable, cybercrime spark fear

Aucust 3,2013
Jiji Press

Rising crime against children, women and the elderly, and the threat of cybercrime are behind the public’s declining sense of safety, the National Police Agency said in an annual report Friday.

Although the total number of crimes detected by the police is falling and now stands at less than half of peak levels, 81.2 percent of the people surveyed last year by the Cabinet Office said they believe the domestic security situation is deteriorating, the 2013 police white paper said. Reported cases of child abuse, domestic violence and bank transfer scams are increasing, it noted.

For the white paper, the agency surveyed a total of 3,745 people in January and February, asking them which types of crime they felt threatened by.

According to the result, fear of abduction topped the list of concerns for those who live with children, followed by bullying and sex crimes. Women respondents said they felt threatened by purse-snatching or pick-pocketing, followed by sex crimes and secret filming or peeping. Older people were most worried about burglary, followed by purse-snatching or pick-pocketing, and remittance fraud.

Police need to prevent crimes and help increase people’s sense of security not only by carrying out investigations swiftly and accurately but by raising awareness of crime prevention measures, installing more surveillance cameras and providing thoughtful counseling for crime victims, the report said.

On the issue of cybercrime, the white paper used real-life examples to illustrate possible threats. It focused on illegal accessing of Internet bank accounts, an increase in child pornography in cyberspace and the threat of cyber-attacks to steal information or destroy important infrastructure.

Although police are beefing up measures against cybercrime, investigations are hampered by the lack of a system for the long-term preservation of online records, the white paper said.

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