Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Fighting crime ... with manga: Via Mainichi Daily News comes word that law-enforcement officials are turning to manga to battle Japan's rapidly escalating crime rate. Earlier this month, Isawa Police Station in Yamanashi Prefecture printed and distributed 500 "manga wanted posters" to help catch a convenience-store robber. The man was caught, thanks to information gleaned from a security camera, but still:

"Isawa's cartoon wanted poster told the story of the thief from the moment he entered the store he robbed until he ran away. It also gave a description of his physical appearance and dress. It also provided information that simply releasing the security camera footage would have been unable to do.

"'For instance, the thief had a big "X" on the back of his shirt. On the camera footage, the letter looked like it was all black, but it was actually marked in a leopard skin pattern,' the deputy chief says. 'Thanks to the manga, we were able to include little details like that.'"

(Thanks to Buzz Dixon for the link.)