December 14, 2005


Convenience Stores to Help Prevent Crime

Keywords: Disaster Prevention / Reduction Non-manufacturing industry 

Seven-Eleven Co., FamilyMart Co., and 11 other members of the Japan Franchise Association have started a nationwide initiative to have their chain stores serve as safe stations for local communities. The initiative was launched on June 17, 2005 in Hokkaido and the Tohoku area in northern Japan, and has been expanded nationwide, with stores in the Tokyo Metropolitan area joining on October 1, 2005. This network included 40,502 stores as of February 2005, and has started to help prevent crime.

In addition to its basic purpose of providing goods and services, each convenience store also aims to offer a safe and secure refuge, and to contribute to nurturing a healthy younger generation. In cooperation with the police, the local government and citizens in the community, the program aims to make the local convenience store a refuge where people can run when in danger, and help it avoid becoming a youth hang-out that encourages juvenile delinquency.

The first trial was carried out at 720 stores in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture and in Saga Prefecture in Kyushu for three months starting in March 2003. By the end of the third trial from July 1 to September 30, 2004, participating stores increased in number to 19,920 in nine cities (10 prefectures) representing 14 convenience store chains. The overall result of the third trial showed that the number of robberies occurring at each trial site decreased by 16.8 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, and by 23.3 percent compared to the three months before the trial.

Looking at individual cases, however, results varied among the various districts and some stores did not observe much improvement. To contribute to security in the local community, it is necessary for convenience stores to continue their cooperation with the police, the local government and citizens, to undertake effective promotion activities, and to train employees about crime prevention and dealing with underage customers.

Posted: 2005/12/14 10:21:19 AM
Japanese version