[LETTERS] A tech solution to teenage crime

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[LETTERS] A tech solution to teenage crime

Fabricating or falsifying official records or documents is punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years under Article 225 of the Criminal Code.

This applies to fabricating or falsifying information on one’s resident registration card. However, many teens do not realize this.

It does not actually require professional knowledge or much skill, using [mainly] a cutter knife, number stickers and coated paper. Although the precision of fabricated cards can differ from one to another depending on each person’s manual dexterity, most teens do not find it difficult to make full use of fabricated cards for various purposes.

The gap between the numbers 18 and 20 seems very small, but in terms of privileges that can be accessed, the difference between 18 and 20 is huge. Even though one gets a resident registration card at age 18, before one turns 20 there is no real practical use for it. As a result, many teens tamper with their resident registration cards to buy liquor and cigarettes or to enter restricted places such as PC rooms, bars or motels late at night.

Since resident registration cards are easy to falsify, their contribution to crimes committed by teenagers is massive. It enables intolerable crimes. For example, recently there was an incident in Gimpo, Gyeonggi, where adolescents, seven male and two female, were accused of forcing two runaway teenage girls to take their clothes off and be filmed naked, performing acts as ordered by the suspects.

Before we sigh about amoral teenagers and worry about our society, we must objectively seek solutions for the rise in teenager crimes. If teenagers are not able to use fabricated resident registration cards, an important source of the crimes will be eliminated.

It is not easy for service operators to strictly check the resident registration cards of customers because satisfaction with service directly correlates to their profit. Checking the validity of a resident registration card requires a careful and time-consuming examination, which sometimes requires lightly scratching the numbers on the surface of the card, or a careful comparison of the picture in the card to the person who is using it. Most store owners are reluctant to do this; they do not want to make customers uncomfortable.

Therefore, I believe installation of resident registration card readers to be a very effective alternative. If such card readers are commercialized, it would significantly reduce the inconvenience of checking resident registration cards, and teenagers will not be able to deceive shop owners with their fabricated cards anymore. By mandating installation of resident registration card readers in all stores that provide services that only adults can use, teenagers will be not be able to commit certain crimes, and it will greatly reduce the occurrence of teenager crimes.

Park Gun-yong, high school student,

Gyeonggi Province
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