Police and crime in Korea
Many foreigners that visit South Korea after a while will notice or from the lack thereof rather that there are no police here. With that in mind some questions come to mind mainly, “if there are no police don’t you feel Unsafe?” The answer is a resounding “No”. Korea is statistically of one of the safest places on earth you can live. This may be most surprising since they are technically still at war with missiles getting fired off from North Korea into the ocean every time Obama sneezes and Blue house in Seoul says “bless you.” So what gives? No police, country at war yet unbelievably calm and peaceful.
Sometimes seeing something brings it to mind whereas most other times out of sight out of mind is the norm.
If you live or have visited any area where it is humid you may have experienced those pesky insects called mosquitoes. Unless you are getting your blood sipped away you would rarely even think of them however if you see the mosquito fogger truck spraying those wonderfully delightful pesticides you can start to feel itchy for no reason at all. Humans are simply great that way.
Us Police apparently are something similar to those fogger trucks preventing those mini vampires from ever showing their evil faces. For an American it has always been thought, “The more police there are the safer you feel”, buying a house and there’s a policeman on the street? Sign me up now! Makes sense right? The more police present = safer you will feel. Not so much.
Korea takes a different approach to safety and crime than many other countries. For instance at the subway if you have an issue you can ring an emergency buzzer then just like something out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory a little guy will come running out from seemingly nowhere to assist you in your needs.
Simply it comes down to the type of protective system that is in place. In the US with its militarized police force they work diligently to prevent any crime. Police in the US patrol and look for possible crimes which can leave much to the individual’s personal perceptions of what may be a threat. This can cause obvious issues.
In Korea they work very diligently from the shadows to solve any and all crimes. A police officer in any country wearing a uniform is easily identified and can only see what’s around him however numerous tiny cameras recording every detail everywhere can cut out the need for police who cannot monitor every happening.
If the Korean police force receives a call they can quickly pull up the history of nearby cctv to see exactly what happened. If the cctv cannot exactly see what happened that same cctv can see the license plates of passing cars. The Korean police can then request black box video from those cars which most all vehicles in Korea have running 24/7.
Usually when would be criminals feel there is no way to get away with a crime they tend not to bother causing them. With this in mind next time you visit Korea feel at ease and enjoy your peaceful stay. Feel free to get intoxicated from the cheap yet tasty soju and pass right out on a bench, rest assured no one will bother you or steal your wallet. Most of all try not to cause a crime, there’s not much a chance of getting away with it!
Interesting Korean facts: Murder per capita (includes attempted as well as planning out) of 218 countries S. Korea is ranked 22 in the world. Annually only 184 actual deaths resulted from murder in the entire country.
Article by Jacob Rojas