The National Police Agency (NPA) plans to look at tightening stalker laws. NPA Commissioner General Yutaka Katagiri said a series of cases involving delays and destroyed evidence have caused a loss of public trust.
In an attempt to reduce the "growing sense of crisis," Katagiri confirmed he would be looking into whether or not current laws need to be tightened, Fuji TV reported Tuesday.
After a man murdered the mother and grandmother of a woman he had been stalking in Nagasaki last December, family members said that the police had failed to protect them, despite repeated requests for help. The families and their lawyers have been petitioning the NPA and the National Public Safety Commission for changes to the current laws.
In a statement, Katagiri said, "We are in danger of losing the confidence and trust of the public. We need to meet the problem head on and tackle this growing sense of crisis," Fuji reported.
Further scandals arose recently after it was learned that Chiba prefectural police had not processed any paperwork relating to cases of stalking since the end of 2011. There were also nationwide reports that evidence had been destroyed or fabricated by law enforcement officials. The lawyers of bereaved families have complained that the legal process behind obtaining a desist order is over-complicated and needs to be streamlined.
Katagiri was quoted as saying, "The message we are receiving from the people is that they don't just want us to respond once an incident has taken place. They want us to take action to prevent these crimes taking place."
The families of those murdered by stalkers, usually girls and women, are also appealing for the NPA and the commission to introduce a system whereby an external body can examine police investigations in cases of stalking. The bereaved families have called on the NPA and commission to respond to the request by April 30, Fuji TV reported.
Katagiri said he would consult with experts in the field to gauge their opinions of the current laws. He also said the NPA is currently collating reports on the enforcement and efficacy of existing methodologies from prefectural police departments nationwide.© Japan Today