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 White paper on crime 2006 Part 6/Chapter 6/3/(1) 

(1) Restoration of crime deterrent force in local communities

  The decrease in the number of reported cases for non-traffic penal code offenses since 2003 is said to be partly due to activated crime prevention activities in local communities. If local residents become more aware of crime prevention and cooperatively implement volunteer activities such as anticrime patrols actively and continuously, considerable positive effects can be expected in preventing offenses in respective communities. Furthermore, if measures to secure safety of children on their way to and from school are promoted boldly in these communities, it must also be effective to prevent peculiar heinous crimes targeting minors, which have frequently occurred in recent years.
  It is pointed out that deteriorating recent crime trends are partly attributable to diminishing crime deterrent power in local communities due to weakening human relations caused by urbanization. Neighbors and family members used to have communication more closely, worry about, give advice to or even scold sometimes and support each other as needed. Such close relations have been lost and may have weakened local communities' and families' power to deter crimes.
  Therefore, it is necessary to restore solidarity among communities and family bonds so as to revitalize crime deterrent power in local communities.
  If each local community gets united and promotes persistent efforts such as to promote volunteer activities including anticrime activities and work for sound fostering of juveniles, they will be able to restore solidarity through such activities and develop a crime-resistant social environment. It is important to strengthen "local powers" through cooperation between related agencies and local communities and mutual support and anticrime activities among local residents.
  Considering the background of the above-mentioned offenses of billing fraud and fraud utilizing the Internet, which have increased significantly in recent years, there is the fact that dissemination of mobile phones and the Internet has increased chances of committing such crimes. For such new types of offenses, respective countermeasures such as prevention of illegal utilization of mobile phones and bank accounts are effective.
  However, a rapid increase of these new offenses has been brought about not only by increased chances of respective offenses but also by weakened human relations in communities and at homes. Weakened human relations have deteriorated crime deterrent power of the society as a whole, which has allowed a rapid spread of crime damage in society in accordance with increased chances of offenses. Therefore, even if respective countermeasures succeed in preventing specified types of offenses, different types of offenses are highly likely to emerge one after another.
  In order to prevent new types of offenses from emerging, efforts need to be made for developing a crime-resistant social environment by strengthening crime deterrent power of the society as a whole, while taking respective countermeasures such as prevention of illegal utilization of mobile phones, etc.