This study aims at identifying the factors of aggregate and disaggregate crime categories in Japan over the period 1964-2009. All crime categories are related to police outlays, police numbers, unemployment, divorce and urbanization rates. Bounds testing approach to cointegration is implemented to test the existence of a long-run relationship amongst the variables. Cointegration analysis yields that the main deterrent effect on crime is the police presence and this factor is further confirmed by the real police outlays. As for the essential cause of crime, urbanization stands as the leading factor which is followed by divorce and unemployment rates. Policy implications are discussed. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.