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2014年8月 8日 (金)

(社説)警察の不正 組織の病理にメスを

August 07, 2014
EDITORIAL: Deep-rooted structural problems behind Osaka crime data scandal
(社説)警察の不正 組織の病理にメスを

Police in Osaka Prefecture are reeling from a scandal of unprecedented scale after it emerged they failed to report tens of thousands of offenses to improve the prefecture's crime rate figures.
The whole organization should be held strictly accountable for this dire state of affairs.
 前代未聞のごまかしだ。責任は極めて重い。

All of the 65 police stations in the prefecture falsified crime figures in their districts over a five-year period from 2008 to 2012. Data was withheld on incidents of street theft, destruction of property and the like. The police stations failed to report more than 81,000 offenses, some 10 percent of the total, during the period.
 大阪府警の全65署が、窃盗や器物損壊などの犯罪を認知した件数を過少報告していたことがわかった。5年間で8万件を超え、全体のほぼ1割に当たる。

In 2010, the prefectural police announced that Osaka shed its shameful title of being the most street crime-infested prefecture--a disgraceful status it held for 10 years through 2009. But it was a false claim based on manipulated data.
 府警は不正な統計をもとに、長年続いてきた街頭犯罪ワースト1を10年に返上した、と発表していたが、虚構だった。

The way the prefectural police department responded to the revelation was also surprising. The department concluded that it was not a case of conspiracy involving the whole organization. It claimed the officers in charge at the police stations acted on their own in falsifying crime data without being told to do so by any senior police official.
 当の府警の受け止め方にまた驚く。「幹部の指示はなく、各署の担当者が独自判断でやった」とし、組織ぐるみの不正ではなかったと結論づけた。

The scandal has even more serious implications if all the stations were really involved in the same misconduct even though no senior official gave clear directions concerning the matter.
 誰も明確に指示していないのに、全署が同じ不正に手を染めたとすれば、事態はより深刻だろう。

The prefectural police department should recognize that what happened has its roots in serious problems with the organization.
組織に根ざした問題として受け止めるべきである。

There have been similar cases of data manipulation by police in various parts of the nation. The Saga prefectural police underreported the number of accidents resulting in injury or death. The Aichi prefectural police failed to report a number of fatal traffic accidents.
 警察の不正な統計処理は各地で問題になってきた。佐賀県警は人身事故件数を少なく偽装し、愛知県警でも交通死亡事故などの計上漏れが発覚した。

What is common to all these cases is excessive importance placed on statistics.
 共通するのは、統計数値に対する異様なこだわりである。

After Toru Hashimoto became governor of Osaka Prefecture in 2008 with a pledge to rescue Osaka from the shame of being the most street crime-ridden prefecture, the successive chiefs of the prefectural police department constantly spurred officers on the front line to make greater efforts to reduce crimes. Many officers in charge have said they felt strong pressure that made them hesitant to report crimes.
 大阪の場合、ワースト1返上に意欲を燃やす橋下徹知事(当時)の誕生で、歴代の府警トップが現場にはっぱをかけ続けた。多くの担当者が重圧を感じ、「犯罪を計上しにくい雰囲気があった」と証言している。

A top-down system is the norm for police organizations.
 警察組織は上意下達が原則だ。

If the upper echelons of police regard crime and other statistics as measures of job performances and reward officers for improved data and punish them for worse numbers, it is not surprising that rank-and-file officers start trying to avoid presenting bad data that would displease their bosses.
上層部が統計をまるで成績指標とみて、数値を減らせば表彰、増えれば叱責(しっせき)、というような信賞必罰で臨むと、現場が顔色をうかがうようになるのは、当然といえる。

The number of recognized crimes in an area is an important indicator of the level of public safety. What police should do is to analyze all data carefully to take effective steps to improve the public security situation.
 犯罪の認知件数は、地域の治安状況の指標であり、それを率直に受け止めて対策を講じるのが筋である。

If a crime data falsification scandal raises doubts among citizens about whether police will deal with crime reports appropriately, there will be grave consequences for public security.
「犯罪を届け出ても正しく処理されないのでは」と市民に思われれば、弊害も大きすぎる。

The Osaka prefectural police department has reprimanded 97 officers, including heads of police stations and chiefs of criminal affairs divisions during the period in question.
 府警は、当時の署長や刑事課長ら97人を処分の対象とした。

Every time this kind of scandal comes to light, police punish responsible people and avow to make sure that all officers will be properly instructed as to how they should act.
 こうした問題が起きるたび、関係者を処分し、「指導を徹底する」と繰り返すのが警察の常だ。

But these disciplinary actions alone cannot root out the structural problems with the organizations that are behind such scandals.
だが、そういう懲罰型の対応だけでは、組織自体に起因する問題の根絶は不可能だろう。

The burden of work and responsibility borne by police is growing. Police stations across the nation receive more than 1.7 million requests for help and advice every year. The number of cases that demand cautious responses, such as stalking and domestic violence, is on the rise.
 ただでさえ警察の負担は高まっている。相談は全国で年170万件を超え、ストーカーや家庭内暴力など慎重な対応を求められる事案も増えている。

On the other hand, the fiscal crunches of the central and local governments are making it difficult to expand police squads in response to the growing workload.
一方、国や自治体の財政難で要員増は追いついていない。

The National Police Agency should ask itself why police officers on the front line who are supposed to have a strong sense of mission are often tempted to commit misconduct. The agency should view the situation as a serious challenge for the national police force as a whole and embark on identifying contributing factors while seeking advice from outside experts.
 使命感が高いはずの現場がなぜ不正に傾くのか。警察庁は警察全体の問題ととらえ、外部識者の意見も聞きながら、背景事情の解明に取り組むべきだ。

If the agency treats the latest scandal in Osaka as an exceptional, isolated case, it will no doubt see many more similar episodes in the future.
 大阪などを特殊ケース、と片付けるようなら、不正はまた必ず起きる。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 7

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