[EDITORIALS]Police need a wake-up callA man is dead from wounds suffered in a fight with a kidnapper who took his daughter. The 10 or so police officers who were staking out the area did not approach the scene until after the man suffered a fatal injury. The appalling events do not stop there. The mother of a girl who was sexually assaulted caught the suspect after staking out the scene for a number of days. The mother took on the case herself after the police for one reason or another did not take the case seriously. When we have cases like these, we have to ask ourselves why we have police in the first place. It is incredible that we must depend on the police to protect our safety and property.
How can more than 10 police officers staking out a possible crime scene fail to intervene even when the father of the kidnapped girl is in a brawl with the suspect? Were the police simply spectators? Imagine the emotion of the father who felt he needed to jump the suspect himself. The same thing goes for the mother of the sexual assault victim. She took the matter in her own hands because the police would not move. Cases like these are surely not limited to the two. The police probably know better about the number of people who were victimized twice because they failed to do their job. We do not expect all police officers to throw their lives in danger to catch a suspect, movies sometimes show. But we want to expect that the police will at least help an average citizen taking on a crime suspect.
The police are responsible for the increased safety risk faced by the public. People are resigned about getting help from the police and tend not to report a crime. Criminals take advantage of that, and crimes perpetuate. Meanwhile, the police are busy looking after their own interests. The commissioner general of the National Police Agency, Choi Key-moon, said recently that he would try to ensure independence of the force’s investigative power. But the police deserve such a thing only if they are capable of exercising that power. The first order of police work is to wage a war on crime so that people are safe and have peace of mind.