It’s natural for anyone who becomes the victim of a crime or gets into a traffic accident to be unsure of what to do.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department provides information and consultation to help victims and family members. That includes information on
・how an investigation and court will proceed, under what process an offender will be punished,
・what will be asked of the victim and family members during an investigation, and
・what kind of systems, relevant facilities, and organizations are available.
Police assistance for victims
The following types of assistance will be provided for individuals such as families who lost a family member to crimes such as murder, victims of sexual crimes and seriously injured victims, and victims of serious traffic accidents.
・Explanation provided to the doctor
・Escort for inspection of evidence at the scene, etc.
・Transportation to home, etc.
・Listening to an interviewee’s concerns, requests, etc.
・Providing the booklet entitled “To the Victims of Crimes”
・Explaining criminal proceedings, etc.
Introducing facilities, organizations, etc. related to victim assistance
Offering lodging facilities to victims of crime, and other victims
Victims and family members can obtain information such as who the offender is and how he/she will be punished as long as the information does not impede the investigation.
Visitations and making contact
If desired, a police officer from a police box, etc. will go on patrol or provide necessary guidance on crime prevention, etc.
Compensation system for crime victims
This is a system in which the Japanese government pays benefits to a victim of crime, including a crime victim or bereaved families who are unable to receive compensation for damage in some form of public relief, or from a criminal perpetrator, in spite of accidental death or receiving serious harm, such as severe illness/injury or disability, due to an intentional criminal act.Note: No benefits will be granted, however, if the victim neither possessed Japanese nationality nor resided in Japan at the moment of the crime.
Benefit for bereaved family members
A benefit provided to family of a deceased victim of crime
Benefit for seriously injured persons
A benefit provided to a victim of a crime who sustained severe illness or injury (a wound or sickness requiring 1 month or more of medical treatment and over 3 days hospitalization (see Note 1))
Note 1: In regard to psychiatric disorders such as PTSD, this applies to sickness requiring 1 month or more of medical treatment and symptoms of such a degree that the victim is unable to work for 3 days or more.
Benefit for incapacitated persons
A benefit provided to a victim of a crime that is left with a disability
Other financial assistance
Public funds are paid out to a victim under certain conditions to cover a portion of the fee for issuing a medical certificate to attest to injury, and a portion of the medical fee incurred when receiving a medical examination for the purpose of issuing a medical certificate.
In addition, public funds are paid out under certain conditions to a victim of sexual crime for a portion of the cost for the morning-after pill, tests for sexually transmitted disease, induced abortion, and counseling; and to a victim of crime, such as murder, incurred in the home for a portion of a house cleaning fee that includes disinfection and deodorization.
Counseling is provided for mental anguish primarily to victims of sexual crimes, victims in cases of injury, and family of murder victims.
It is natural for crime victims and bereaved families to feel extremely distressed because they
・feel constant anxiety,
・think they are also responsible in some way, and
・have no one who understands their frustration.
Criminal procedure refers to the process that starts with identifying the offender and specifying the criminal facts, and ends with imposing a penalty on the offender. It is broadly divided into the 3 phases of investigation, prosecution, and judgment.
This refers to activities conducted to identify the offender, collect evidence, and clarify facts to solve the case.
The public prosecutor decides within the detention period whether the suspect will be brought to trial.
・Prosecution refers to when the suspect is brought to trial.
・Non-prosecution refers to when the suspect is not brought to trial.
When a suspect is brought to trial, the trial date is determined and a hearing takes place. Ultimately, a judgment is handed down.
In the course of criminal proceedings, the following requests are made of, and burdens placed on, the victim and family members. They are necessary to apprehend and punish the offender.
Cooperation is requested to help the victim, and to ensure others do not become victims of the same crime.
Police ask about circumstances, such as the harm inflicted and details about the offender. Depending on the case, the public prosecutor may also ask about circumstances.
As evidence proving the crime, in some cases the victim may have to submit items such as clothing worn and items in his/her possession. They will be returned as soon as they are no longer necessary to the investigation.
Accompanying inspection of evidence at the scene
To clarify what harm was inflicted, the victim may be asked to accompany the police to the scene of the crime to explain the situation.
Appearing at court
When the trial begins, the victim may have to testify at court.
In cases of sexual crime, the victim can request a screen to shield him/her when testifying, or to testify through video link.