Security cameras installed on street lights along Tokyo’s Omotesando-dori due to spike in pick-pocketing


Security cameras have been installed on street lights along Tokyo’s high-end shopping boulevard, Omotesando-dori, situated in Shibuya Ward, due to an increase in pick-pocketing and camera voyeurism.

Ten surveillance cameras were installed this week along the boulevard lined with brand retailers, boutiques, and restaurants following persistent requests by an association of Omotesando retailers, Fuji TV reported. 

The Tokyo equivalent of Paris’ Champs-Élysée, Omotesando is constantly bustling with Japanese youth, brand-name shoppers and foreign tourists. 

However, an increase in crimes from pick-pocketing to voyeuristic photos and videos spurred the association to urge the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department to equip the chic shopping district with security cameras.

In addition, on Jan 1 this year, the nearby Harajuku fashion district was the site of a crime scene when a 21-year-old man plowed his minivan into a crowd along Takeshita Street. Eight people were injured in the attack.

A police spokesman said: “We want to further strengthen our security measures with the combined efforts of local government officials, businesses and the public.”

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I've rarely ever heard of pick-pocketing being rampant anywhere in Japan. Where are these thief's coming from.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

 due to an increase in pick-pocketing and camera voyeurism

Seeing people in Japan putting their long wallet in back of their pants, it will attract pickpocket.

In addition, on Jan 1 this year, the nearby Harajuku fashion district was the site of a crime scene when a 21-year-old man plowed his minivan into a crowd along Takeshita Street

For this you need more than cameras.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am glad they are up putting surveillance cameras. Sometimes you need Big Brother to maintain a civil and safe society.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

There are warnings in washrooms of pickpockets in the area in Shibuya, too. Statistically Japan has been a "safe" place for so long that trust coupled with careless complacency about safety is part of the culture.

Thus actions that would be foolhardy anywhere else (wallets in back pockets or in open totes--an easy grab & go for thieves) are commonplace in Tokyo. It's unlikely that locals or visitors would behave that way in New York, London or Rome.

When I first traveled/stayed in Japan in 1998 there were fewer than 5 million tourists annually. Now the total approaches 30 million. More people=more crime. Perhaps not statistically, but in higher numbers, certainly.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There are pickpockets in Japan.

I happened to see one at work ona moderately crowded train.

However, unfortunate for him, being surveillance,two plainclothes cops hustled him off at the next station...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Easy picking when Japanese men carry their wallets in their back pockets. When in a crowded location I move it to a safer place. Put an empty old wallet in your back pocket and the real one somewhere safe.

Last year a serial pickpocketer, an old Japanese obansan was jailed again.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

How many can be prevented by using a little common sense. Snap the bag shut, keep the wallet in a safe compartment, don't have it sticking out of the pocket. Etc

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Funny how people seemingly refuse to accept there is crime here and that yes, sorry to say, Japanese people commit crimes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They'd never do this in a poor neighborhood.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pick pockets have been in Japan for ages, I remember late 90s early 2000s there were pickpocket gangs of Koreans who would fly over head tot he city, pick pockets, then fly home.

Plus Japanese have been picking each others pockets for ages & of course the old bag grabs while on bikes & motor bikes, that has been going on non stop

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In 2017 there were 3,524 reported cases of pick-pocketing in Japan of which 26.4% were caught.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are plenty of Japanese pickpockets

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There are pickpocket groups in main cities of Japan. These groups were quite famous in the 90s.

There is already a movie made about it, 'Suri' by Kazuo Kuroki in 2000.

But will the belongings be return as same as it it? If not, then why the catch and let go again?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I may be naive or a bit slow, but Could someone please explain the camera voyeurism part ?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

SaikoPhysco - I've rarely ever heard of pick-pocketing being rampant anywhere in Japan. 

Just because ‘you’ have not heard about does not mean it doesn’t happen. Pick pocketing is actually quite common in Japan because there are many careless victims. It happens on the trains very often with women leaving their bags open and lowlifes just help themselves to the purse on busy trains. This particular section of sidewalk is also a very busy place making it easy for these lowlifes to swoop on careless people and steal their stuff. I am not blaming the victims, but it doesn’t take much care to stop yourself becoming a victim of a pickpocket.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Saikyo Line (埼京線) in Tokyo is a favorite of pickpockets.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What the heck is, "camera voyeurism"?????????? Whatever it is, how is this a crime validating China-like surveillance???????? Ditch the surveillance. Post signs warning of pick pockets and give advice on prevention.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes I understand that it can happen anywhere but it still makes me sad to read this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was robbed here 2 years ago and my wallet was dumped in a filthy toilet...being the idiot I was, they got away with a very large amount of cash (yen)...Lessons learned, use a chain now. Strange thing was, I also had quite a bit of foreign currency in the wallet as well and none of that was taken.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For the most part I only need a keitai now..... I use my Suica off of that and I keep a picture of my Gaijin card on it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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