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While the number of reported cases of penal code offenses has been continuously marking postwar records, the clearance rate hit postwar lows in 2000 for total penal code offenses (42.7%), general penal code offenses (all penal code offenses excluding professional negligence in traffic accidents, for the purpose of this chapter) (23.6%), general penal code offenses except for larceny (54.3%)and larceny (19.1%). The number of cleared cases of general penal code offenses except for larceny did not significantly change while the number of cleared cases of larceny took a temporal upward turn from 1992 to 1998,but sharply decreased in 1999 and 2000,hitting a postwar low in 2000.
As for the trends in the number of cleared cases for larceny by types of major larceny (those reported cases over 10,000 every year over the last decade), the numbers of cleared cases of snatching, safe cracking, etc. were generally on the rise since 1988, while the numbers of cleared cases of five types of larceny offences, including theft from vehicles, bicycle theft, motorcycle theft, theft from unoccupied property and shoplifting, were far below those of 1988. The decrease of cleared cases for these five types of larceny offenses (284,968) accounted for 73.9% of the decrease in the number of cleared cases of larceny offenses in total (385,506) from 1988 to 2000, which was directly reflected in the trend of the total number of cleared cases of larceny.
The numbers of cleared cases of other types of larceny including snatching, which had been on the rise, started to decrease in 1998, and the clearance rates have declined drastically accordingly.