In the first half of this year, the number of police officers in Japan disciplined for drunk driving has seen a startling increase, soaring 2.4 times compared to the previous year’s data. Recent police reports revealed that 12 officers faced disciplinary actions for driving under the influence during the January to June period, a sharp rise from the five cases reported in the same period last year. This surge in drunk driving incidents within the police force comes amidst the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions and an uptick in social drinking activities.
Among the 117 police officers and officials who faced disciplinary actions during this period, incidents related to sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and voyeurism, remained the most common cause for concern. The number of officers disciplined for such behavior remained steady at 46, similar to the figures from the previous year.
Apart from sexual misconduct, the data indicated an increase in cases of theft, fraud, and embezzlement among police officers. The number of officers disciplined for these offenses rose from 22 to 25 during the current year’s January-June period. Additionally, 21 officers faced disciplinary actions related to traffic accidents and violations, including drunk driving, witnessing an increase of 12 compared to last year’s figures.
However, amidst these concerning statistics, there was a slight drop in the number of police officers being arrested. The data showed that 26 officers were arrested during the mentioned period, three fewer than in the previous year.
The National Police Agency expressed its intention to implement robust measures to prevent further misconduct among its officers. Ensuring the integrity and professionalism of the police force remains a priority, and authorities are working diligently to address the issues at hand.
Out of the 117 officers facing disciplinary action, 18 were dismissed from their positions, 25 received suspensions, 58 had their salaries reduced, and 16 were reprimanded for their actions. Notably, 21 officers faced punishment for work-related misconduct, while the remaining 96 were disciplined for behavioral issues in their personal lives.
Geographically, Tokyo and Chiba prefectures recorded the highest number of police officers facing disciplinary measures, with both regions accounting for 12 cases each. Osaka followed closely with eight officers being subjected to disciplinary actions.
Addressing the increase in drunk driving incidents within the police force is of utmost importance. The National Police Agency is determined to rectify the situation and maintain the public’s trust in law enforcement. Thorough measures will be put in place to prevent and deter misconduct among officers and officials.