Police recruiters eye polygraph tests to weed out possible sex offenders

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  • -1

    combinibento

    Usually when I see the words "weed" and "test" in relation to hiring practices, I start wondering if I have to kick my habit but am happily relieved to see this has to do with something else entirely.

  • 11

    Ewan Huzarmy

    Notice how the article says 'considering introducing' and 'only on those who consent'.

    Somehow I don't see the number of offenders decreasing any time soon.

  • 1

    sillygirl

    just THINKING about it? sheesh. should have started long ago if the posts of perv police officers here on JT are any indication.

  • 8

    zenkan

    If this is an option, then it is a pointless move. Also, isn't the polygraph test somewhat notorious/unreliable? The questions have to be so specific and carefully worded.

  • 7

    gaijinfo

    Public propaganda nonsense.

  • 6

    alliswellinjapan

    Given the probability for the majority to agree to its actual implementation (preferably mandatory), agree with many here that this should not be even news until it is actually implemented.

  • 7

    Mirai Hayashi

    Shouldn't they start by polygraphing the current force first? I would think with all of the upskirts, groping, and harassment that some police officers have been caught for, you'd think that's where they should start.

    Secondly, what kind of questions would they ask? "Are you a pervy wanker?"

  • 6

    marcelito

    Voluntary = meaningless.

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    I agree, this not not be VOLUNTARY but MANDATORY, along with say random drug tests too! Sometimes the people that we should TRUST the most end up being the most messed up people, police, teachers, doctors etc...

  • 2

    Dennis Bauer

    Psychology test also!

  • 4

    Probie

    The National Police Agency plans to use polygraphs only on those who consent to taking the tests, to avoid being accused of invading privacy, the Asahi Shimbun said.

    How stupid is this??

    Recruiters plan to analyze reactions from candidates after they are asked for their thoughts on pedophilia or molestation, the daily reported.

    There should be no "invading privacy" in asking potential cops about stuff like that.

    It is obvious that they aren't taking the problem serious.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    It takes a liar to catch one.

  • 3

    tmarie

    Yes, why don't you "think" about it and then IF you go through with it, only do the test on those that agree to the test. Yes, what a perfect solution to the growing issue of pervy cops.

  • 7

    Frungy

    Firstly, polygraph tests are completely random as "lie detectors". What polygraph tests do is measure STRESS. Yes, this test might get some pedophiles who feel guilty and stressed about their urges, but might equally produce no results for the more violent offenders who feel no guilt or stress about their pedophilia. It will also falsely register those who are strongly anti-pedophile, since they'll become stressed about the question (wouldn't you get stressed if you were accused of being a pedophile?)..

    So, this is an idiotic idea. That they are even considering this idea shows they have no clue about how polygraph tests work and are buying the complete BS stories from lie detector companies that these are 90% accurate (they're not!).

    Secondly, the correct test for pedophilia is a genital response test. An apparatus is attached to the genitalia and the subjects are then show pedophile pornography. Those who are not turned on (i.e. show no arousal) have no pedophilic urges. This test is the only reliable test for pedophilia.

    Finally, making any test voluntary in a job recruitment process is ridiculous. Applicants want the job, so they're under TREMENDOUS pressure to consent, and there will be legitimate fear that failing to consent could result in discrimination, so many applicants will take the polygraph.... and because polygraphs are fabulously inaccurate they'll be unfairly failed. This is an idiotic idea. Either use the correct genital response test or don't do it.

  • 5

    Disillusioned

    Oh well, there goes half of the male population.

  • 0

    martyman

    Very interesting to have this as a voluntary program. Maybe they should do the interviews on the Japanese comedy show "Akan Police" to be voted as recruited or not.

  • 2

    Fugacis

    Polygraph tests, as Frungy has said, are imperfect at best as a means to test truthfulness, and at worst are dangerous and self-fulfilling. They measure levels of stress, which is correlated but unrelated to lying. Some people can lie extremely convincingly and have no emotional reaction to doing so. It's also open to abuse in the same way as any interrogation: the quizmaster can ask leading questions, press on certain responses, introduce doubt into the subject, outright accuse, and many more methods to elicit a stressful response.

    I'm not sure what to suggest in its place, to be honest. I get the feeling that sex offenders and just people who like power and control over people are naturally drawn to the police, and some will doubtless slip through this net. I think there's a wider rape permissive culture in Japanese society, and especially bastions of conservatism such as the police force, that play an even greater role in allowing these offenders to act with impunity.

  • 3

    Frungy

    DisillusionedJan. 09, 2013 - 10:28AM JST Oh well, there goes half of the male population.

    Maybe not so far off the mark. On the random sample genital response tests in America more than 30% of people (male and female) showed a positive response to pedophillic images. I'd imagine that because of the more pedophillic-permissive attitudes in Japan the results would be higher here.

  • 3

    Debucho

    Might be hard to find a Japanese guy who answers no to these:

    Do you like AKB48?

    Do you think Yukirin has nice boobs?

    Do women's underwear turn you on?

  • 3

    nandakandamanda

    Some good comments today. Debucho is approaching what I was imagining, ie a great script for a new comedy.

    The administrators of the test will know exactly what questions to ask (or to avoid) as they probably have similar hidden urges.

    To paraphrase Yubaru above, it takes a thief to catch a thief.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    But it will be implemented, with great fuss and fanfare, with the teeth extracted of course, because the public will expect it.

    More paperwork, and more window dressing.

  • 3

    gogogo

    How about doing something about the fact they are all bumbling idiots

  • 2

    Onniyama

    How about implementing a useless geek test? A lot them sure end up on the police force.

  • 7

    Onniyama

    My wife works at an unnamed coffee shop here in Japan. Some tool that works there passed the test and will, apparently, become a cop this spring. They keep him in the back during busy periods because the only thing he can mangage successfully is cutting up boxes. This is what the police are hiring.

  • 0

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    What if they find out that candidate is a possible offender, doe sthe police then start an investigation on that person? If they do, its prejudice and framing but if they don't the police is not excercising due care for its citizens knowing that someone is a possible offender. Police has effectively put themselves between a rock and a hard place.

  • 1

    blendover

    There are of course exceptions, but generally speaking younger recruits will not at the time of takiing a test of this nature have developed the kind of proclivities that the test is seeking to weed out. It is something that develops for the most part in mature adults. If there is a greater incidence of this kind of thing in the police force than in other professions, then they should be looking at aspects of police culture that might exacerbate such tendencies and try to make changes to police culture. If they are looking for early signs in potential recruits that such proclivities might possibly develop, then this kind of thing should be included in an indirect way in an interview rather than by a physical test.

    One thing that introducing such a test would do, of course, is make everyone in the police force much more worried about how they expressed themselves and how they acted. There might be some positives in that but it would also not weed out the worst cases and make a lot of other people uneccesarily paranoid.

  • 4

    lucabrasi

    Evidence derive from polygraphs is inadmissible in just about every court in the advanced world (there are some states in the US which will allow it). The obvious reason for which is that they don't work. This is a truly desperate attempt to be seen to be doing something, rather than dealing with the actual problem.

  • 2

    Nessie

    Voluntary = meaningless

    Voluntary overtime. Voluntary confession. In Japan, "voluntary" = "coerced".

    They keep him in the back during busy periods because the only thing he can mangage successfully is cutting up boxes.

    I see they didn't hire him to think outside the box.

    Note that sociopaths ace lie detector tests.

  • 0

    Frungy

    blendoverJan. 09, 2013 - 01:01PM JST There are of course exceptions, but generally speaking younger recruits will not at the time of takiing a test of this nature have developed the kind of proclivities that the test is seeking to weed out. It is something that develops for the most part in mature adults.

    Nonsense. The average sexual offender is 20 to 30 years old.

  • 2

    megosaa

    Police recruiters eye polygraph tests to weed out possible sex offenders

    .

    The National Police Agency plans to use polygraphs only on those who consent to taking the tests

    FAiL

  • 0

    GW

    How about making all keystones involved in signed confessions take the test to prove it wasnt FORCED!

    Thats the place to start!

  • 0

    blendover

    @frungy

    Yes, I see what you mean. However, I was thinking of the the questions on pedophilia and sexual molestation that were going to be asked, as opposed to sexual offenses in general. Most convictions for pedophilia, for example, involve people in their 30s (although sometimes late 20s) and upwards into the later years. Questions along lines involving secretive anti social desires would not necessarily uncover anything of significance.

  • -1

    AustPaul

    Polygraphs seem to be big in the US. I think with a high level of screening as well as other probably standard selection processes there should be no need...

  • -1

    AKBfan

    Police Academy 6? Looks like the number of cops will have to bescaled back.

  • 0

    kaminarioyaji

    Competition to join Japan's police force is stiff, with only 14,700 out of nearly 126,000 candidates passing exams

    Wow, so that means that what we have as a police force in Japan are the supposed "cream of the crop". Lord help us.

  • 0

    avigator

    Test them for drugs too when they apply.

  • 0

    HonestDictator

    Not going to help them, I know during my stints with daytime labor I was sent out to work construction labor for an FBI building and they had us do drug tests, asked a series of questions, and more just to get a chance at the assignment for a few days. Japan's law enforcement needs to get with the times.

  • -2

    jessebaybay

    If you have to consent to take the test, it's still doing its job. If you choose not to take the test consider yourself off to a bad start. It's like someone asking if you can take a drug test. You have nothing to fear if you haven't taken drugs recently. If you refuse the test, its pretty clear to those around you that you probably are taking drugs.

    It's almost a form of peer pressure.

  • 3

    Frungy

    jessebaybayJan. 10, 2013 - 12:34AM JST If you have to consent to take the test, it's still doing its job. If you choose not to take the test consider yourself off to a bad start. It's like someone asking if you can take a drug test. You have nothing to fear if you haven't taken drugs recently. If you refuse the test, its pretty clear to those around you that you probably are taking drugs.

    Except that a drug test is actually a reliable and valid test for drugs. If a drug test says you've taken drugs then there's about a 90% chance that you really did use drugs.

    If a polygraph test says that you're a pedophile then there's only a 50/50 chance it's true.

    Also, people who refuse drug tests can do so for all sorts of reasons. These might include:

    • A moral objection to the invasion of privacy (or perhaps you're in the camp that think it's okay for your employer to install cameras in your house to check that you're not taking home office supplies? We all draw the line somewhere.)

    • You might have been near someone who smoked drugs - certain kinds of tests would show this up as drugs in your hair and even blood stream. Before you start ranting about how you should have reported them this other person might be a relative (mother/father/wife/child/etc) with a terminal disease like cancer on medical marijuana. Does your employer have ANY right to know?

    • You might have a medical reason for refusing the test, such as being on some medication that might create a false positive - Does your employer have any right to know that you're HIV positive? It's not like it has any impact on your work in most professions and with the latest drugs it'll have no impact on your productivity as in first world countries it's a manageable condition.

    • Or maybe you just have a phobia about peeing into a cup when someone is watching (and this is standard practice in many drug tests to prevent people substituting urine samples). Again, does your employer have a reasonable right to look at your junk?

    No. Leaping from "Refuses to take drug test" to "Must be a junkie" is ridiculous.

    Leaping from "Refuses to take polygraph" to "Must be a pedophile/rapist/sexual deviant" is infinitely more ridiculous.

  • -2

    Crazedinjapan

    Never mind just using that in the recruitment process , using that test on people being detained for instances they weren't or were involved with would be a plus ....keeps innocent from being harmed.

  • 0

    sfjp330

    One of the ongoing problems with lie detector technology is that tests are often administered by people with little and sometimes no training or education in the field. Too many police departments contract out the testing to the lowest bidder, etc. The leaks have to stop and any action taken to that end should be applauded except, of course, by the media types and politicians who make for-profit or cynical political use of them on a regular basis.

  • 3

    borscht

    Frungy,

    If a polygraph test says that you're a pedophile then there's only a 50/50 chance it's true.

    Actually, if a polygraph says you're a pedophile, then there's a 90% chance you're not. From the US National Research Council -

    no evidence of effectiveness.

    Here's a scenario I'm sure the NPA hasn't considered. A recruit is asked "Have you ever molested a child?" The recruit says "No." However, the recruit was molested as a child, and that causes him or her to get emotional, the polygraph will show that he or she is lying. The polygraph measures physical reactions that could be caused by emotions.

  • 0

    Knox Harrington

    Is this a big problem within the Japanese police force?

    Wouldn't they benefit more from asking: " Are you yet another of those yes-men who never ever questions a superior's commands?" Or: "Can you think for yourself?"

    That would be both revolutionary and helpful.

  • 0

    Knox Harrington

    Omniyama:

    ...the only thing he can mangage successfully is cutting up boxes...

    Somehow, it doesn't surprise that me people like this make it to the police force. It's tragic, but it doesn't surprise me.

  • -1

    Nessie

    Why not just ask for volunteers for the miniskirt unit?

  • 0

    basroil

    I'm surprised nobody actually cared to state the simplest solution to the "take or not take polygraph test" issue. Just arrest, fire, and prosecute cops that commit crimes against women (and men), especially those on duty. Nobody will have to take the test because nobody would be stupid enough to join in order to commit crimes if they faced severe punishment (except those who become broken AFTER joining, which this test can't even hope of predicting)

  • 0

    oncefallendotcom

    In America, we stereotype Asians as super-smart, so this story makes me think the Japanese are trying to break that stereotype by passing a stupid measure.

    Polygraphs are inadmissible in court. Yet we still believe in this? They may as well use dousing, staring at tea leaves, or reading hairy palms as well.

    Real truth on so-called "s*x offenders" is found at oncefallendotcom.

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