[EDITORIALS]A case of the bumbling police?The prime suspect in the killing of two police officers was arrested after an eight-day flight. The policemen, killed in the middle of their mission to arrest the suspect, can now rest in peace, and the victims’ families may bear no grudge. The public, fearing another crime, can also feel relieved.
As was the case with many violent crimes in the past, the help of an ordinary civilian also solved this case. Thousands of policemen searched for the suspect throughout the nation and checked cars along major roads. A reward of 50 million won ($43,000) was posted, but the suspect left no trail. And yet, a housewife in her 40s acted calmly, contributing decisively to the suspect’s capture.
In order to control crime in modern society, in which suspects have no particular motives and commit crimes freely around the nation, scientific investigations are important. And yet, without the cooperation of the public, many cases will remain unsolved.
Making a report on a suspect after witnessing a crime is the responsibility of a member of society. Arresting the suspect and punishing the convict are the roles of judicial bodies such as the police, prosecution and courts. Moreover, police are primarily responsible for protecting the life and property of a person who provides a clue to solving a crime. The police must respect such a duty, as well as their responsibility to capture a suspect.
And yet the police acted so disappointingly this time. Although the son of the housewife, who reported the incident to the police, asked them to be careful not to harm his family members who were being held hostage, police patrol cars turned on their sirens when they approached the scene. Are they insane? The hostage signalled to the police from the balcony that he wanted them to be quiet, but the police knocked on the door of the house. This cannot be happening.
The police argue that the housewife, who was threatened by the armed suspect, was not a hostage. Is arresting a suspect all they care about? Are they saying it does not matter whether or not an innocent person is hurt?
It is good to have determination to capture a violent suspect, but it is more important to pay attention to protecting hostages. Many people are reluctant to make reports to the police because they are afraid of revenge. The police must create a reliable witness protection system and guarantee appropriate compensation.
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