Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"JR East to install surveillance cameras on trains from Dec 28"

Again, from Japan Today, 12/22/09...

I know some of these articles seem redundant, but I post them here with the whole text as a sort of repository, a place where we can go back and see important data. Japan Times and other news reporting agencies sometime delete the story after a certain amount of time. Thus I have come to copy the whole text - saves me a lot of photocopying and think of all the trees we save... Long chunks of italicized text mean direct quoting from the original story. Come back to VAOJ when you need to search for visual anthropology related topics. Anyway, back to the story...

East Japan Railway Co (JR East) said Monday it will start operating a security camera system aimed at preventing groping on trains on the Saikyo Line on the evening of Dec 28.

A set of high-definition security cameras will be installed in the No. 1 cars of some trains on the line linking Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture, the first time for such equipment to be installed on commuter trains by a Japanese railway operator.

JR East announced earlier this month that it was planning to start conducting video surveillance on the Saikyo Line on a trial basis by the end of the year in the hope that security cameras would provide evidence of and serve as deterrent to molestation.

The decision to install the cameras came after police asked metropolitan railway operators to do so amid no sign of a decline in molestation cases on trains, although critics have questioned the effectiveness of the cameras and raised privacy concerns.

Metropolitan Police Department data show that the number of groping cases on trains handled by the police total around 1,500 a year. In the first half of 2009, the number of such cases came to 708, of which 75, or about 10%, occurred on the Saikyo Line. Most molestation cases on the line occurred in the No. 1 cars.

JR East will start the trial by installing cameras in the ceiling near the driver’s cabin. It will increase the number of trains equipped with cameras in late January and plans eventually to record footage from four points in each car.

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