In an effort to clamp down on groping and molestation aboard trains, the Saitama Prefectural police force launched a new unit comprising some 150 officers, mostly women, outside JR Omiya station on Thursday. Members of the new “Elimination of Molestation Patrol” unit handed out fliers at the station and patrolled various trains throughout the prefecture.
The team had its first success later in the day, when a plain-clothed female officer witnessed a man touching a high school girl aboard a train on the JR Takasaki line. The officer worked her way through the crowd and typed out a message on her cell phone declaring she was an officer and asking the girl if she had been molested, and showed the girl the message. The girl nodded and the officer apprehended the man - a 32-year-old unemployed resident of Kawagoe City.
According to police statistics, there were 106 reported cases of groping aboard trains in Saitama in the first eight months of this year, with many of them occurring during the morning rush.
Mihoko Akiyama, an assistant inspector, said: “I hope that victims get the courage to raise their voice, instead of simply putting up with the situation.”© News reports