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The National Police Agency pledged Sept. 29 to step up efforts to protect crime victims from retaliation after the people who victimized them are released from prisons, NPA sources said.

When retaliatory attacks are considered highly likely, the NPA plans to inform crime victims of when the criminal will be released, they said. The NPA is also considering informing crime victims of the offender’s address if the freed prisoner lives near the victim’s home.

This is the first measure the NPA has taken to prevent “unwarranted retaliatory crimes.” The NPA issued the instructions Sept. 29 during a Tokyo meeting of police officers in charge of investigations and identification. Circulars were also sent to all the prefectural headquarters.

According to the NPA decision, if police deal with cases of attempted murder or sex crimes and suspect convicted perpetrators may attempt retaliation, they will be required to register these people with the appropriate prefectural police headquarters. Local police will instruct crime victims on ways to protect themselves from such reprisals and inform them about the whereabouts of offenders after they are released, the sources said.

In July, the NPA came up with a system to offer instructions on self-protection and other information to family members of murder victims, and victims of attempted murder, robber-injury and sexual assault. In the NPA’s review of 38 main “unwarranted reprisal crime cases” in the past 10 years, blackmail and intimidation cases numbered the highest, at 29, followed by five injury cases. Twenty-five reprisals, nearly 70 percent of the total, were perpetrated by members of crime syndicates.

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