The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department held an inauguration ceremony Tuesday for its new “Sakura police” unit, which will focus on preventing indecent acts and sexual assaults against minors and women.
Police said that while the total number of criminal offenses is decreasing year-on-year, the number of sexual assault cases and acts of indecency remain roughly constant, and they decided to launch a special unit to specifically prevent cases where minors and women are approached or followed by strangers.
The unit, operating from the MPD head office in Kasumigaseki and the Harajuku police station, comprises 56 officers, 16 of whom are women. The officers will target areas where minors or women have been approached or assaulted, and will appeal for information as well as conduct stakeouts.
Toshiro Yonemura, commissioner of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police force, said there were more than 500 reported cases of minors being approached in areas of its jurisdiction last year, and expressed his hope that the new unit will succeed in the early detection of potential assaults or indecent acts.© Wire reports