How to prevent/decrease crime in Tokyo/your hometown.

I think that no matter how big or small the place you live there is one thing that can be done to prevent or decrease crime. Where I lived in Canada, citizens were encouraged to report a crime or suspicious behavior to the police if they saw it. The police said that they could only be in so many places at once so having extra eyes would help them a lot. There was a campaign on television that specifically asked for people to report strangers or even family if someone suspected them of drunk driving.

Once when I was on my way to work in Canada, I saw someone driving a truck who was swerving all over the road. I suspected the person was drunk so I pulled over and called the police. After giving the whereabouts of the suspected impaired driver the police told me to stay on the line and follow the driver from a safe distance as best I could. We were on a quiet road so it was easy to follow the driver and the person wasn’t driving that fast either.

For about 5-10 minutes I reported where the driver was turning or what areas he was passing. One time the driver actually ran into a construction sign but still kept going. Finally, the police officer on the phone said they had spotted the driver and that I was free to pull over on the side of the road. They caught the man and discovered that he was drunk. The police thanked me and said I could have saved a life if the driver were left to drive on his own without being stopped. It was a bit scary but I was glad I was able to help. I was late getting to work but when the police officer came to my office to get a statement from me my boss couldn’t deny my excuse for being late.

I think that if criminals realize that the people around them could notify the police they would be less likely to commit crimes. For myself, that means I should be a little less focused on my phone if I am on the train, or if I’m walking try to be a little more aware of my surroundings. I also think that if someone was to hurt other people or themselves it could be stopped by others even before any damage or injury happened.

Something that might be different from Tokyo and the small town of 5,000 people that I grew up in is that people really know their neighbors in my hometown. If someone is acting strangely or if someone new starts acting suspiciously it is easily seen. In this way people are less likely to commit crimes if they know they will be noticed even more.

I wonder if that could still be applied in bigger cities. If we were able to get to know our neighbors and be in better communication with people in our community we might be more of a help to each other and watch out for each other. That might be easier said than done though.

Laura




Vocabulary

pull over (phr.v) – to move a vehicle to the side of the road
whereabouts (n) – the place where someone or something is
impaired (adj.) – affected by alcohol or drugs to the extent of losing control over one’s behavior
spot (v) – see, notice, or recognize someone or something that is difficult to detect or that one is searching for

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