Police are investigating the theft of my knickers, but do I say?
Japan has run out of criminals and the police are looking for something to do! The police are growing in numbers: Beat cops, known colloquially as omawari-san (Mr Walk-around), are a fixture in most neighbourhoods. Japan has over 259,000 uniformed officers—15,000 more than a decade ago, when crime rates were far higher. This means plenty of attention for crimes that would be considered too petty to investigate elsewhere, such as the theft of a bicycle or the possession of a tiny amount of drugs. One woman describes how five officers crowded into her cramped apartment after she reported her knickers being swiped from a clothesline.
Recently, the police in Kagoshima city staged a day and night stakeout lasted by leaving an unlocked car that contained a case of malt beer outside a supermarket. It took almost a week before a passing middle-aged man decided to help himself. Five policemen instantly pounced, nabbing one of the city’s few remaining lawbreakers! Crime rates in Japan have been falling for 13 years, and with a murder rate of 0.3 per 100,000 people is among the lowest in the world.