Eighty-three police officers were dismissed or suspended from duty on disciplinary grounds in the first half of this year, 27 more than during the same period last year, the National Police Agency said Thursday.
The figure is the most in the first half-year since 2000, when the national police force initiated a series of reforms to crack down on misconduct.
Topping 200 for the first time in nine years, 205 officers were reprimanded, up 35 from the same period last year.
“A sense of crisis among the police may have receded after more than 10 years since we initiated the reforms,” a senior NPA officer said, adding such offences by the officers have become more serious.
Of the punished, 31 were fired, up 15 from last year, while 52 were suspended, up 12. Seventy-seven had their pay cut, up 19, and 45 were reprimanded, down seven.
Fifty-two were involved in theft, fraud and embezzlement, up 19 from the previous year, while 36 were involved in inappropriate practices related to drinking and relations with the opposite sex, up eight, 29 were punished for loss of official money or documents or forgery of official documents, up 21.
By prefecture, Tokyo police topped the list of disciplinary actions with 28 cases, followed by Hokkaido police with 22, and Osaka police with 15.
A Hiroshima Prefectural Police officer fired warning shots Wednesday in an attempt to restrain a drunk, recently retired U.S. Marine wielding knives on the street, the police said.
Dowland Brent Adam, 44, a former serviceman at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture, was carrying two kitchen knives on a street in the city of Hiroshima at around 1:30 a.m. when a police officer tried to stop him, the police said. Adam’s wife had called the police after he became violent at home.
The officer, 27, fired two warning shots in the air when Adam remained hostile and continued to wave the knives, the police said. No one was injured by the shots.
Adam was drunk at the time, the police said, adding he has a history of hospitalization for depression and retired this month.