Osaka Girl Abduction Highlights Social Media Crime Kid Victims

Society

Osaka, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--The recent kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl of Osaka Prefecture by a 35-year-old man has thrown a spotlight on the rising number of children falling prey to crimes through social media in recent years.

The man, Hitoshi Ito of Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture, allegedly came to know of the elementary school girl via Twitter and invited her to be a friend of a junior high school girl staying at his house, according to police sources.

National Police Agency data show the number of children under 18 who fell victim to crimes through social media in 2018 came to 1,811, almost unchanged from the record high posted in the preceding year.

Of them, 91 became victims of felonies such as kidnapping, up 30. The number of kidnapped children doubled to 42.

The number of elementary school kids victimized in social media-linked crimes is also on the rise, increasing 14 to 55 in 2018.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press