Aug. 11, 2012 - 04:45PM JST
Reports of police misconduct in the first half of this year have increased 23% over 2011, the National Police Agency says.
According to agency statistics, 205 police officers were disciplined in the first half of 2012, including 31 whose infractions were deemed serious enough to warrant dismissal. The NPA said the number is the highest since the police reform act of 2000 and could indicate a state of crisis in terms of police scandals affecting the public trust, Sankei Shimbun reported.
Police misconduct hit the headlines again this month when a police officer took a minor to a beach in Osaka, plied her with alcohol and allegedly raped her.
The NPA also reported a sharp increase in the number of dismissals, such as those that occurred in Kanagawa this year, due to police officers forging official documents and inventing non-existent cases to boost their statistics. Other examples cited of misconduct include sexual harassment, filming upskirt videos and drunken behavior, the NPA report said.
The NPA has announced plans to improve police education and selection, to ensure that corrupt officers are weeded out at an early stage, Sankei reported. The agency also plans to introduce a regular assessment of each officer’s “sense of duty and professional pride” in an attempt to win back the public’s trust.