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Suwon police apologize for failing to save kidnap victim

Suwon police apologize for failing to save kidnap victim

Posted April. 10, 2012 05:35,   


"I repeatedly recall the scene of the crime where the victim must`ve suffered. This is truly painful.”

A senior police officer at the Suwon Jungbu Police Station who led the probe in the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 20-something woman in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, said he has bitter feelings over the crime in an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo Monday. He choked back tears throughout the interview. “When I heard her emergency call, I was completely shocked at the woman’s desperate call for help,” adding, “I continuously recall the situation she would have faced. We made such a big mistake.”

Other officers also showed similar emotions. Police deployed to the scene of the crime issued belated apologies to the woman and her family. A police lieutenant showed a grave expression on his face when he said, “I wept endlessly. We should have found her earlier, and we express our deep regrets.”

A police sergeant with a regretful look on his face said, “This should be our karma. When we think of the tragedy of the deceased, our situation is nothing.”

The botched police response to the woman`s call for help has shed light on problems with the order transfer system.

A member of the violent crime team said, “We receive countless voice phishing cases on kidnapping these days, and we go to a home whenever we get a report of kidnapping,” adding, “In the course of doing that, we seem to have lost insight (in our capacity to judge a violent crime).”

“In the past, the police station would give orders, but confusion seems to have occurred as a command center was created at the Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency.”

Other officers have expressed difficulty in conducting probes at the scene of a crime. Another police officer said, “It`s not easy for us to enter ordinary people’s homes at night due to protection of privacy,” adding, “Since many sensitive issues can be raised, we cannot behave irrationally.”

Detectives also spoke of similar problems. The head of an investigation team at Dongjak Police Station in Seoul said, “If I go to an apartment complex without wearing a uniform in daytime, most people won`t believe that I`m a police officer even if I show my ID,” adding, “In the most serious case, people believe we are policemen only after a patrol car from a police box is dispatched to the scene after they dial (911) again.”

starsky@donga.com bibulus@donga.com