• Kyodo


The number of murders and attempted murders recorded by police in 2013 declined 8.8 percent from the previous year to a postwar low of 939, the National Police Agency said.

Overall penal code violations dropped 4.4 percent to 1.32 million cases, the 11th consecutive year of decline, as the number of thefts decreased 5.2 percent to 986,309 to slip below 1 million for the first time in 40 years, the NPA said Thursday in a preliminary report.

“Public- and private-sector crime prevention efforts including volunteers’ night patrols were successful,” an agency official said.

But the number of frauds increased 10.5 percent due to a sharp rise in billing frauds.

Among violent crimes other than murder, robberies decreased 9.0 percent. However, sexual assaults increased 13.7 percent and arsons 5.7 percent.

In 2013, the police cleared 394,169 crimes, down 9.9 percent, and took legal action against 262,554 persons, down 8.5 percent.

The crime clearance rate, or the rate of solved crimes versus all reported crimes, fell 1.9 percentage points to 29.8 percent, sinking below 30 percent for the first time in eight years.

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