Thursday, October 20, 2005


Crime stats

Last week a 4-foot high day-glo pink Nova Usagi was stolen from outside the Yanagawa branch of Nova at 10.30 approx on a Sunday morning.
Within ten minutes of the reported theft four bustling policemen burst out of a patrol car to take statements from the two workers at the school and from the three students who had arrived ten minutes after the telephone call was made. This was followed by earnest dusting for fingerprints and fingerprint samples being taken from every somewhat bemused person present. Whilst people were being interviewed a senior policeman peered intently at the empty chair where the Usagi had been sitting not 25 minutes earlier but did not seem able to come to any conclusions about who the culprit might be.
Over the following five days the same four policemen visited the Yanagawa school a total of eleven times. This was not to pursue any lines of enquiry but to let the staff now they were still treating the case as serious and they would be in touch if they heard anything.
A Police Commission report in 2001 stated that 63 per cent of small businesses in Japan had been approached, and threatened, by criminals wanting protection money. A further 42 per cent of these businesses said they were paying some form of insurance to local criminal elements.
Reports from a 2002 study in Central Honshu state that 6.2 per cent of police working hours was taken up by investigating protection racket scams and that in the past ten years a total of fourteen people have been arrested and convicted of such dubious insurance help. It seems that the focus of attention is not perhaps what business rate payers would hope it to be in some areas of Japan.

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