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Police Agency shakes up koban operations

Date Posted: 2007-05-18

Police boxes across Japan are seeing either being closed or receiving increased staffing.

A move begun nearly three years ago by the National Police Agency to improve efficiency of the koban, the neighborhood police boxes or stations, is in its final stages. Unneeded koban are being closed, and others are getting an infusion of new policemen.

Two years ago, about 30 percent of all koban nationwide, 1,925 koban, were either understaffed or the doors were being kept shuttered because of manpower shortages. Local residents were complaining about increases in violent crimes, and about feeling apprehensive about being properly protected.

The prefecture police nationwide were advised to boost the number of koban-assigned police officers. To date, the number of officers assigned has risen by 4,400. There are now 49,800 officers assigned to koban throughout the country.

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