From Japan Today, 1/20/17:
Japanese police used footage from surveillance or dashboard cameras to identify suspects in more than 10,000 criminal cases last year, provisional police data showed Thursday.
The number of suspected violations of the Penal Code that came to police attention in 2016 fell below 1 million for the first time in postwar Japan, the National Police Agency also said, partially crediting security cameras with the decrease.
But there are persistent public concerns about overreliance on such cameras, as there have been cases in which innocent people were wrongly accused because police neglected other investigative work.
There are also fears about invasion of privacy. With more surveillance cameras expected to be installed in the coming years, privacy advocates are calling for judicious use of the devices.
According to the agency, the number of criminal cases built by the police last year totaled 22,318. Of those, 5.9%, or 12,994, involved footage from security or dashboard cameras in positively identifying suspects.
Such footage has now become “indispensable in investigations,” a senior agency official said, with data showing footage from such cameras has proven effective, mainly in uncovering street crimes.
By crime category, snatch-and-run offenses accounted for the most, 20.4% of the criminal cases in which security or dashboard camera footage proved decisive in identifying suspects, followed by pick pocketing at 12.3%, burglary at 10.8%, and indecent assaults at 10.3%.
As of last March, 1,530 security cameras had been installed by police across the country. Numerous security cameras have also been installed by private firms and individuals.
The data also showed that the number of suspected criminal cases that came to police attention in 2016 was 996,204, down 9.4% from a year earlier, and slipping below 1 million for the first time in postwar history. The number of such cases per 1,000 people fell to 7.8, a fresh postwar low.
Among the crimes, the number of attempted murder and murder cases totaled 896, down by 37 from the previous year and the lowest since the end of World War II.