Statistics for crimes committed by foreigners February 8, 2007Posted by fukumimi in crime, Japan.
Continuing on the topic of the foreigner crime “surge”….
The National Police Agency apparently released statistics for crimes committed by foreigners in 2006. (No sign of the statistics on the NPA page however. I guess they give some numbers to the press to circulate, and get around to posting the statstics later, once the news has done the rounds. We don’t want people dissecting the raw numbers and calling out inaccurate or biased journalism, do we?)
Anyway, the headline number is that foreigner crime is down 16.2%.
For a taste of Japanese journalism, I point you to the reporting of the statistics by the Mainichi newspaper.
The Japanese headline reads: Foreigner Crime: Increasing in the regions (ie outside Tokyo) – Up 35-fold in the Chubu Region in 15 years
The English headline: Number of crimes committed by nonpermanent foreigners declines in Tokyo (I see they can’t even concede that it decreased on a national aggregate level)
The problem with this parroting of NPA statistics is that it doesn’t really help us understand who is causing the trouble.
Whilst foreigners are overrepresented as a source of crime (about 2% of crimes are attributed to foreigners whilst they comprise a little over 1% of the resident population – 2.2% for H1 2006, compared with 1.7% 10 years ago), so are organised crime syndicates (who are responsible for approximately 5% of crimes – I’m guessing that one in twenty people are members of organised crime syndicates) or juveniles, who are responsible for around 30% of all crimes (even that is down from just under 50% 10 years ago). Juveniles comprise round 20% of the population, but I’m guessing the 0-9 year olds don’t commit that much crime, so the majority of the 123,715 cases for 2005 are attributable to the 10-19 year olds, who comprise 9.7% of Japanese population according to latest census numbers. (Percentages are all from NPA statistics)
I’m scratching my head at the growth in foreigner crime which apparently is reported, 35-fold increase in Chubu and 21.5-fold in Shikoku. According to the statistics in this NPA report (top table on page 7) which only go back 10 years, Chubu foreigner crime has increased 3.3-fold, and Shikoku foreigner crime has increasedÂ 4.5-fold.Â A significant increase, but still a far cry from the 35-fold and 21.5-fold numbers cited in the articles.Â It should be noted that no other regions registered more than a doubling of foreigner crime compared to 10 years ago. This during a period where foreign residents and foreign visitors have grown significantly.