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Elderly criminal numbers soar in greying Japan

Published on Nov 16, 2012 3:48 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - The number of elderly criminals being caught by Japanese police has rocketed, the justice ministry said on Friday, with pensioners committing almost 50 times more assaults than two decades ago.

The number of criminals aged 65 or older booked by police in 2011 increased by 475 from the previous year to 48,637, more than six times as many as 20 years ago, the ministry said in its latest crime white paper.

Most elderly crimes were shoplifting or theft, but violent crimes were also on the rise, the ministry said.

A significant increase was seen in the rates of violent crime committed by the elderly, with 49.5 times more assaults than in 1992 and 8.7 times more bookings for bodily injury, the white paper said.

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