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Security cameras help drop in crimes

The Yomiuri Shimbun

People walk by a security camera in the Shibuya district of Tokyo.

Enhance your Japanese by comparing this story with the translation below. The number of criminal cases confirmed by police in the first half of this year marked the 17th consecutive year of decline, thanks largely to the widespread installation of security cameras around Japan, according to National Police Agency data.

Security cameras, especially in urban areas, have become a major tool for investigations and are a deterrent to street crime, because they are a constant reminder that crime doesn’t pay.

In the first half of this year, analyzing video footage taken by security cameras and drive recorders led to identifying suspects in 9,211 cases, or 9.9 percent of all cases that were subject to a police inquiry, according to the NPA.

The percentage of successful identification of suspects related to video footages was especially high among street crimes, such as 32.5 percent for bag snatching cases and 22.0 percent for pickpocketing cases.

When an incident occurs, investigators ask the installer of the camera for cooperation and copy the image data to memory devices. Then, the Metropolitan Police Department analyzes the images in special departments such as the Investigation Support and Analysis Center. When young revelers celebrating Halloween caused a disturbance in the Shibuya district of Tokyo last October, the police collected footage from about 250 security cameras and were able to identify 15 suspects from among the crowd.Speech

Japanese translation今年上半期の刑法犯認知件数が17年連続で減少した。警察庁のデータによると、大きな要因は、全国で防犯カメラの整備が進んだことにある。

防犯カメラは、都市部を中心に捜査の大きな武器となり、街頭犯罪の抑止力になっている。「犯罪が割に合わない」ということを常に知らしめるからだ。

警察庁によると、今年上半期に防犯カメラやドライブレコーダーの映像が容疑者特定につながったのは、摘発件数の9.9%にあたる9211件だった。

映像が容疑者の特定につながったケースは、ひったくり(32.5%)、すり(22.0%)など、特に街頭犯罪で大きな割合を占めた。

事件が起きると、捜査員が設置者に協力を求め、画像データを記憶媒体にコピーする。その後、警視庁では捜査支援分析センターなどの専門部署が画像を解析する。昨年10月、ハロウィーンの東京・渋谷でどんちゃん騒ぎをする若者たちが騒動を起こした際には、約250台の防犯カメラ映像を集め、群衆の中から容疑者15人を特定した。Speech

Vocabularycriminal case: 刑事事件
thanks to ...: ~のおかげで
installation: 設置、導入
pay: ペイする、割に合う
video footage: ビデオ映像
identify: 特定する、割り出す
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