Police end anticrime campaign to little success

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Police end anticrime campaign to little success

The National Police Agency vowed yesterday to maintain its increased police manpower and heightened efforts to monitor convicted sex offenders in a bid to curb violent crimes after its one-month long anticrime campaign came to an end Wednesday.

Authorities implemented renewed efforts to reduce violent crimes, including murder, rape and theft, by employing an additional 10,000 patrolmen during the campaign, which began on Sept. 3.

The frequency of such crimes, however, has shown a minimal decrease. Violent crime rates went down by 9.3 percent during the campaign, compared to the average rates of July and August, from 58,852 to 53,375, according to the police. The arrest rates for violent crimes went up by 3.5 percentage points to 64.3 percent from an average of 60.8 percent over the same period.

The police launched its special campaign last month in response to a bout of violent crimes, particularly murders which involved suspects targeting people with no personal connection, which shook the country earlier this year.

The police also revived the practice of identification checks last month in a move to beef up neighborhood security, two years after it stopped the ID checks in response to worries of potential human rights violations. Under the new measure, police can request pedestrians provide identification when authorities have reason to suspect them of carrying weapons or see them displaying suspicious behavior.

The police also tightened monitoring of 4,509 convicted sexual offenders who are listed on the online sex offender registry and tracked each one during the campaign period. The police booked 339 sexual violators for failing to provide required information, such as their current location, or giving false information to the registry. In addition to these measures, the police ran a crackdown on Internet sites distributing child pornography in a bid to reduce sexual crimes targeting minors. The authorities closed down 36 Internet sites and filed charges against 77 others. The number of illegal pornography cases in the last month stands at 1,560, a fourfold increase from the average monthly number between May and August.

Violent crimes, however, continued during the anticrime campaign period. Another random murder took place in Chilgok County, North Gyeongsang, on Monday when a 34-year-old man fatally stabbed a 21-year-old female with a knife.

By Kang Jin-kyu [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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