Murder in Gyeonggi

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Murder in Gyeonggi

It is terrifying to hear that serial killer Kang Ho-sun confessed to murdering and burying seven women in three years.

It is shocking that a human being could be so cruel. It is also lamentable that such atrocities are present in Korean society.

Residents in the southwestern part of Gyeonggi Province, the serial killer’s main target area, must have been especially upset and scared by the news.

Gyeonggi Province is especially vulnerable to crimes of cruelty. The biggest reason is its social environment.

The Gyeonggi region is one undergoing the biggest changes in the country recently. The population has increased rapidly with development. Korea’s population recently grew at a rate of 0.3 percent, but Gyeonggi’s annual population growth was 2.7 percent over the last 10 years.

In Hwaseong County, where most of the killings took place, the population grew by 7 percent. With the influx of outsiders, solidarity among neighbors as well as communication and surveillance may have weakened. With increasing income disparity due to development, there are more motives for crime.

The problem is that police capability could not keep up with the rapid changes. The rate at which thieves are caught in
Gyeonggi is only half the national average. First of all, this is due to shortage of police officers.

Gyeonggi has a larger population than Seoul, and its area is 17 times bigger than Seoul’s, but employs only 65 percent of the number of policemen in Seoul. A police officer is responsible for 720 people, which is 1.4 times the national average. Gyeonggi residents must think this is unfair.

The government should strengthen police capability in Gyeonggi right away.

If necessary, it should increase funding for police and assign more police officers to the region. The government should also consider installing more closed-circuit television cameras, whose efficacy were again proven in arresting Kang.

Concerns over violation of privacy can be prevented by responsible management of the information obtained from CCTV. People should be given an environment where they can live safely. We cannot live in a place where a killer is on the loose.
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