As a country where people can save their seats at cafes by simply leaving their MacBook Pros on them, Japan has a reputation for being one of the safest countries in the world. Still, that doesn’t mean crime is non-existent, with cases of seniors being swindled by fake phone calls becoming a continuing problem and reports of groping and sexual assault leading some railway companies to designate women-only passenger cars during rush hour.
While companies and local police do their best to caution people about criminal activity when it occurs, visitors and people looking to move into certain regions often have an interest in finding out about reports of suspicious persons and crime so they know what to watch out for while in the area.
Now there’s a Japanese website that answers that call, with an interactive map that documents all these reports, complete with details such as the date and time of the incident, and descriptions of the perpetrators involved.
Called Gaccom Anzen Navi, which translates to Gaccom Safety Navi, the comprehensive map covers all areas of Japan, from the very northern tip of Hokkaido all the way down to the island of Okinawa in the south. The reports included in the list are organised into the following 27 categories, which extend outside of criminal activity to include all types of local information worth noticing, complete with matching icons for ease of use.
Below, left to right: Suspicious persons; strangers calling out to people; perverts; peeping toms; upskirt photographers/peeping films; prostitution; assault/violence; dangerous weapons; threats/burglary; drugs.
Below, left to right: Purse-snatching; theft; home invasion; property damage; traffic incident; fire; natural disaster; emergency dispatch; animal appearance; missing persons.
Below, left to right: Fraud/impersonation; annoyance; harm to children; injury; death; disease/sanitation; living notices (e.g. power outages and disruption to daily services).
The map is easy to navigate, and searches can encompass all reports, or be narrowed down to specific types only. When an icon on the map is clicked, a brief summary of the event pops up, with an option to click for more details.
▼ This specific report recounts an incident of upskirt filming, which occurred on an escalator inside Tokyo Station at approximately 8:50 a.m. on 16 May 2017.
Clicking on “more details’ takes you to a different page, with information about the perpetrator and more about what happened. In this specific case, the perpetrator was a man in his 20s, of medium build, who was wearing a beige jacket and black trousers. He managed to break free from an eyewitness who tried to hold him down.
The message includes a notice from authorities that upskirt filming is a serious crime, and if anyone comes across it they should let people around them know by calling out in a loud voice and informing police immediately.
Another option on the site allows you to switch the map from “normal” to “avatar”, which allows you to see the perpetrators according to their descriptions.
Gaccom Safety Navi, which can be navigated in English as well, albeit with an automated translation function, details the last 100 reports received in any specific area, using information provided by the police and local governments.
The free-to-use site is an incredibly handy tool to help spread public safety information.
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