The National Police Agency (NPA) has announced it will begin a program to loan stalking victims dashboard cameras from fiscal year 2021 as an anti-stalking measure. Each prefectural police headquarters will receive 20 dash cams, to be paid for by an additional 15 million yen in the budget.
The National Police Agency said there had been 59 reported cases in the January-July period this year in which GPS trackers were secretly installed in victims' vehicles so stalkers could find out where they were, Sankei Shimbun reported. But in July, Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that installing a GPS tracking device in someone’s vehicle without consent is not punishable under the anti-stalking law.
The court reasoned that remote tracking through GPS devices does not constitute illegal spying. This makes it difficult for police to arrest someone on stalking charges as unwanted surveillance falls outside the legislation’s scope.
As a countermeasure, the NPA suggested using vehicle-mounted cameras as an effective way to detect any stalkers. Additionally, the program aims to dissuade people from installing GPS monitoring devices in vehicles.
According to the NPA, dash cams will be loaned to victims, if necessary, after consultation and installed in their car. The police have also begun lending home security cameras free of charge.© Japan Today