Stalking cases in Japan hit an all-time record high of 21,089 in 2013, according to the National Police Agency. The number is the first time reported stalking cases went past the 20,000 mark and showed an increase of 5.9 percent from 2012.
The NPA believes the increase is because of the rising awareness of stalking as a crime among citizens. More people are reporting suspected offenders after news of stalking incidents, which led to other cases, including murder, were featured in the news. Police took aggressive measures to arrest stalking suspects when a high school student was stabbed fatally by her former boyfriend, who she reported as stalking her in October last year. Last year was also another high record for warnings and restraining orders slapped on suspects.
2,454 official warnings were given by the police last year, while 103 restraining orders have been issued against repeat offenders who did not comply with police orders. Official warnings increased by 7.4 percent from 2012 and the restraining orders were up by 49.3 percent. Simple verbal warnings increased by 24.1 percent from 2012 to make 9,199 cases. 6.5 percent of the 1,889 stalking cases reported were filed to prosecutors. Out of all these cases, 402 suspects were charged with violation of the anti-stalking law. On the other hand, 1,574 were charged with violation of other laws, including those with multiple charges.
Out of 1,574 suspects in 2013, 13 were charged with attempted murder and two for suspicion of murder. Meanwhile, 286 were charged with blackmail, 263 of home invasions, 153 of physical assaults and 227 of causing injuries. 43 cases of stalking via email were also recorded last year. On top of stalking cases, police also noted 49,533 cases of domestic violence. It was a 12.7 percent increase from the previous year, the first time such cases went past the 40,000 mark.
[via Jiji Press]