At the beginning of May, six security company workers started late-afternoon patrols of the Isezaki-cho district of Yokohama's Naka Ward.

The security workers, who wear "safety patrol" armbands over their work uniforms, which are similar to those of police officers, are even occasionally stationed at police boxes when officers are absent.

The patrol scheme was voluntarily organized by three security firms to complement police activities and curb crime in the busy district, which features a large shopping mall, entertainment establishments and cheap inns for day laborers.