Anti - Stalking Orders Hit Record High In 2018

Anti-stalking orders hit record high in 2018

Japan's public safety authorities issued over 1,000 orders against acts of stalking last year, a record high.

The National Police Agency says there were 21,556 consultations and reports of stalking in 2018. That is 1,523 fewer than in 2017, but above the 20,000 mark for the sixth straight year.

Women made 88 percent of the reports. People in their 20s accounted for 36 percent of the reports, the most for any age group. Nearly half of the reports came from those aged 29 years or younger.

Over half of the claims involved current or former spouses, girlfriends and boyfriends.

Cases in which the stalkers were strangers or could not be identified accounted for 15 percent. Such cases have been on the rise in recent years, due partly to the growth of social media.

The number of orders banning such acts hit a record 1,157 in 2018. That was about 70 percent more than in the previous year.

A revision to the anti-stalking law in 2017 allowed the authorities to issue restraining orders without prior warnings to offenders.

Police say they want to prevent serious harm to victims by acting early.