The War Against Crime
The War Against Crime
  • 이혜진 편집국장, 박정은 대학부장
  • 승인 2013.10.06 20:29
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According to a document released by the National Police Agency on crime statistics from January to July 2013, there were 545 murders in Korea. That translates into one murder every 9 hours. In addition there were also 12,234 reported cases of sexual assault. That translates into one sexual assault every 25 minutes. These kinds of violent crimes are on-going and all around us. In June a female student from Daegu, Kyungpook National University was murdered, and it became a hot social issue for days. It is not just violent crime that we need to be worried about. New kinds of crime have come into existence like small sum payment fraud and voice phishing with the information age. We have been faced with the harsh reality that the current development of crime in Korea is on the rise. We decided to investigate what action is being taken to prevent crime around our campus by local police stations.

Increasing level and diversification of social crimes
Crime is increasing in society. We can see violent crimes are also increasing every year. According to a National Police Agency document, violent crime has increased consistently from 521,890 cases in 2007, to 590,087 cases in 2009, and 618,631 cases in 2011. In addition, sexual assaults against minors have increased from 702 in 2007 to 816 in 2011. Moreover, crimes with no motive committed by mentally unstable suspects have shown an explosive increase to 102 cases in 2012 from 8 cases reported in 2010.

Cyber-crimes like small sum payment fraud and voice phishing are also on the rise. Cyber-crimes like Distributed Denial of Service Attack whereby a hacker takes control of a victim’s computer or computer network has increased 152.5% from 2007 to 2011. There were 1,402 reported cases of Damage from tele-financial fraud (Voice Phishing) from January to April, 2013. The most common type of voice phishing is when a criminal impersonates an investigative official. 45% of these criminals impersonate an officail from the prosecutors office, and they ask for personal information from their victims. Moreover, in the case of small sum settlement damage the amount cannot be estimated. However, smishing, which is short for SMS phishing whereby a victim is baited into clicking on text message links with malignant codes that will give the criminal personal information, only had 29 reported cases last year. This year just from January to August there have been 2,433 reported cases. That is over an 800% increase.
Sadly, there is much more to worry about. The number of foreign criminals has also increased steadily. According to the National Police Agency, the overall foreign population in the nation has grown to 1,445,103 which is an increase of 35.5% from 2007. However the number of foreign criminals has increased by 67.9% from 14,524 in 2007 to 24,379 currently. According to the report “Study among Status of Crime and Public Order in Foreign Congested Areas,” from the Criminal Policy Institute Act, foreigners from China or Southeast Asia tend to carry weapons to defend themselves. In addition, when violence occurs they tend to quibble over who was at fault for starting it.
There are other terrible crimes that are happening with increasing regularity like kidnap, and black market internal organ harvesting. Over 2,300 people disappear in a year. The people who are disappearing are not just children. Young women in their twenties are also reported missing every day. According to one popular message board on YouTube, prostitution is becoming a large source of income for organized crime. Black market organs sales have been directly connected with Chinese organized crime. The victims of these crimes are mostly the weak people of society, like women, and children.

Women terrified of violent crime
Most of the victims of crime are women. According to a report from the National Statistical Office and Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, 8 of 10 victims of brutal violent crimes (murder, robbory, arson, rape) were women. Moreover, among the G20 countries, Korea had the highest rate of women victims. Even India, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia which are known for having poor records of human rights for women had a lower percentage of women murder victims. A crime of opportunity is a criminal act whereby the perpetrator does not plan or pre-meditate the crime. In these cases it is predatory instinct for a criminal to choose a victim that has less ability to resist. When a lion hunts it goes after the weakest members of the herd like the elderly, the young, and the sick. In the case of a violent criminal; women, children, and elderly people generally make the easiest targets.

Crime inside the university campus
An investigation of 280 universities by the 2012 National Human Rights Commission of Korea showed that each College Sexual Violence Relief Center had reported sex crimes. The numbers have been increasing rapidly, from an average of 0.6 cases in 2009, 0.8 cases in 2010, to 1.2 cases in 2011. Moreover, according to a report from 2011 by the Korean Women’s Development Institute, sex awareness of equality of university students and graduate students averaged 2.84 points out of a total of 4 points on the evaluation. In comparison, office workers in their twenties averaged a score of 2.97 points.

We can see crimes are continuously happening even on university campuses. We tried to find out what efforts are being implemented to solve these problems by speaking to officers at the Gyeongsan police station.

Gyeongsan police
The average number of reported crimes per month in Gyeongsan is 3,812 cases. Near the university, most of the cases are related to drunken violence. There are also many cases of theft. In the summer, reported cases of sexual assault near campus are more frequent than in other areas, but most of these are indecent acts rather than violent crimes. Moreover, one-room apartments near campus are considered to be more vulnerable to crime than other areas. We asked about what efforts are being made to deal with these problems.Crime prevention activities in the Women Safety Zone around YU

The area near YU was designated as a Women Safety Zone on January 28, 2013
1. Status: Imdang-dong, Joyeong-dong, Dae-dong, Bujeok-ri, Amnyang-myeon and its surrounding areas
2. One-room apartments: 1,005 rooms (area of 0.58 ㎢), about 27,450 people
3. Crime prevention facilities: 39 CCTVs, 2 anticrime checkpoints, 250 security lights

These are some crime prevention activities that have been enacted
1. Special security diagnosis in safety areas: database regarding one-rooms around YU that was completed on March 13, 2013. This database compiles information about the present security conditions of one room apartment buildings in the area. For example, the call numbers of building managers, crime prevention facilities, addresses and a rough map to make it easier to respond to calls and apprehend suspects when calls are made.
2. Publicize sexual abuse prevention intended for YU students with media public relations and leaflets.
3. Autonomous entities, representatives of shopping districts and managers of one-room apartment buildings hold a discussion about sexual assault prevention.
4. Gyeongsan police station sends a bulletin about enhancements to crime prevention facilities one-room apartment landlords. They also convene the managers of one-room apartment buildings to provide education about keeping their buildings safe.
5. Gyeongsan police have mobile patrol cars on duty within the women safety zone using a geographical profiling system.
6. 20 to 30 police officers form 2 permanent patrols that are arranged in the zone every day.
7. The cooperating groups, voluntary night guards and women crime watch also make intensive patrols. They have staged 2 anti-crime checkpoints in the zone and patrols consist of 20 to 30 people a day.
8. The police provide a safe return service for women and operate a patrol system named “firefly alley.” People can return safely from the station or bus stop to their one-room with a police officer or a member of a cooperating group.
9. The police execute check searches in the zone to control the mood of crime in advance
10. The “eye level discussion meeting with local residents” is held.

Crime prevention facilities that will be reinforced
12 new CCTV cameras are planning to be installed to improve security in the second half of this school year. 18 more CCTV cameras will also be set up in 2014.
Low cost CCTV cameras that utilize PCs have been installed at 131 places.
33 security lights and maintenance facilities now exist.
Crime prevention promotional billboards will be set up at the entrance of Orange Road in front of YU in November.

The movies are imaginary stories, but many recent crime movies are produced based on real stories so many refer to the movies when people study criminal psychology. We analyzed how to manage crime in the movies.

Looking at crime through movies
“The Traffickers (2012)” is the first Korean movie that grasps the truth of human organ trafficking.
Film analysis
This movie is based on a real case of a newly married couple that traveled to China in 2009. Although the movie is fictional, it includes factual details. It feels scary and realistic because it contains material from a real story. The movie shows the whole process of organized organ trafficking and that some of the Chinese police are even part of the process. These black market networks select the target, plan the operations, and take the organs through customs. They arrange buyers and pick the surgeons. When a person disappears often no one does anything to find out what happened to them. This shows a lack of concern on the part of modern society and highlights a sad reality.
One of the most prominent movies dealing with psychopathic behavior is the American movie “The Silence of The Lambs (1991).”
One day, Clarice Starling, a FBI probationary agent is ordered to investigate a grotesque serial murder case by her boss agent Crawford. The murder victims were all large women who had parts of their skin removed. Agent Crawford sends Starling to speak to Hannibal Lecter, a former psychiatrist, who could help solve the case. Lecter was committed to a maximum security psychiatric prison because he had murdered 9 of his patients and then ate them. Meanwhile, the FBI tries to use Lecter to help solve the kidnapping case of Catherine that has gained nationwide attention. Catherine is the daughter of a United States senator. Starling works closely with Lecter and becomes too involved with him. Starling is removed from the case and Lecter is transferred to Memphis on the condition that he informs the FBI of the criminal’s identity. He escapes after he is transferred. However, the information he gives is interpreted by Starling and after a breathtaking showdown, she rescues Catherine and kills Buffalo Bill before he can kill her and skin her.
Film analysis
Sometimes real crimes are similar to crime films like “The Silence of The Lambs.” The model for the psychopath “Buffalo Bill” in “The Silence of The Lambs” was taken from the real life Ed Gein case. The police found pieces of bodies, internal organs and skin in his house. In the case of Buffalo Bill, it is a formal manifestation of a mad obsession to strip the skin off his victims because he wants to make a suit out of women’s skin so he could become a woman.
(C.C Naver Encyclopedia)

Students are anxious about crime
Miss P, Junior, Media and Communication

Please tell us about your experiences
It was a Sunday and some of the major supermarkets were closed. I was going home from the Siji E-mart as usual around 9 p.m. There were fewer cars on the road and no people passed by me. Two black cars were waiting at a traffic signal in front of a closed mart when I passed that way. At that time, rumors regarding trafficking of human organs were spreading rapidly through social media. I was on the street when I saw a gray Starex and a black car. However, I was not particularly anxious because I thought it was not late.
At that moment, the black car reduced speed as it passed by the lane next to the sidewalk. Then the car stopped behind a big bus which was stopped in the lane. If the car owner had stopped his car for business, he should have gotten out of the car. However, the car just kept the engine running and it did not move even a tiny bit for a whole minute. Then, I felt some nameless fear. When I turned around and started to walk home faster, the Starex approached me rapidly at that moment. It seemed like the two vehicles were trying to surround me. The distance between the two vehicles was less than 50m. Instinctively I ran like crazy toward the street in the opposite direction from my home where a convenience store is located. I felt my legs weaken but the thought that I might die flashed in my mind, and I ran out screaming. As if on cue, a few pedestrians appeared and walked toward the street and I mingled with them. Surprisingly, the two vehicles disappeared in the meantime. All of this happened over less than 5 minutes.

Crimes occur so frequently these days and you may sometimes feel wary of a passersby on narrow streets late at night. If you are a woman, you will surely agree with this. We dread what could happen when we walk into a narrow alley or a deserted street. From online scams to organ trafficking or murder, we tremble with fear at the possibility of these terrible crimes. As the number of social crimes is on the rise, the prevention methods have been diversified. However, precautions are temporary alternatives and we need to understand that it is impossible to stop crime completely. The security in the country needs to improve and hopefully we can all walk the streets and not fear for our safety.

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