Stores as a Haven for Children
There have been several terrible crimes against children in Japan recently, so local governments are taking steps to protect them and stop crime before it happens.
One of these measures has been to designate certain places in the community, mainly homes and stores, as havens where children can run and find protection from crime or emergency situations. These havens are given names like "Kangaroo Pouch" and "110 for Child Safety" (110 is the emergency phone number in Japan). A convenience store can be an ideal haven, because someone is always on duty there.
As part of this campaign, the Convenience Store Crime Prevention Council of Ibaraki Prefecture designated affiliated stores as havens for children, and coordinated its efforts with Ibaraki police headquarters. The Council was established by all convenience stores in the prefecture.
The Council printed stickers saying "110-Safe Store for Children and Women," and had them posted at the front of all affiliated convenience stores, starting on August 1, 2001. The stores have long been an integral part of local communities, and now they are expanding their role further.
You can buy some snacks at a convenience store for 10 or 20 yen-that's cheap enough for kids to quickly become fond of the place. This fondness leads to the feeling that they can use a store as a haven from crime.
Example of a sticker on convenience stores in Ibaraki Prefecture. It reads, "110-Safe Store for Children and Women."