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Introduction of stalking perpetrator tracking device must be rushed

Introduction of stalking perpetrator tracking device must be rushed

Posted September. 21, 2022 07:57,   

Updated September. 21, 2022 07:57


The Dong-A Ilbo analyzed all 156 judgments punished by the Act on the Punishment of Stalking Crimes, which took effect in October last year, and found that only three out of 57 perpetrators received an order not to approach or contact the victim from the law enforcement authorities. This means that only 5.3 percent of the perpetrators did not approach the victim within 100 meters or stop making phone calls or texting. In violation of the restraining order, some perpetrators would return to the victim 30 minutes after the police left or threatened to drop the complaint by sending text messages to the victim.

The most significant characteristic of the crime of stalking is that the perpetrator would repeatedly and continuously harass the victim against the victim's will. However, the current system leaves the perpetrators as they are and gives out smartwatches to victims who have requested personal protection so they can call the police in an emergency. But a loophole was found in which victims were subjected to retaliatory crimes due to smartwatch errors or a delay in the police coming to the scene. Location tracking devices are attached to the perpetrators in the United States, France, and Spain. The Supreme Court and the Korean Bar Association voted to introduce a supervised release that allows putting a GPS tracking device on the perpetrators whose arrest warrants have been dismissed. There is no reason to delay the introduction of a GPS tracking system to monitor perpetrators any further.

The stalker and killer at Sindang Station faked that he was an employee on vacation and accessed the internal network of the Seoul Transportation Corporation to find out the specific whereabouts of his colleague and the victim, such as the workplace and schedule. He also figured out the victim’s home address by accessing the internal accounting program. The killer, whose arrest warrant had been requested only to be rejected on charges of intimidating the victim, was released from his post in October last year. It is outrageous that the killer's right to access personal information has not been deprived for nearly a year. Although a family being protected was murdered due to a municipal worker who sold their personal information to a fixer service in December last year, the municipal office only paid a fine of 3.6 million won. Public institutions that have failed to do anything about personal information leaks must be held accountable because it can lead to more severe crimes.

The Act on the Punishment of Stalking Crimes, first proposed in 1999, was passed last year after 22 years of sluggish discussion by the National Assembly. However, stalking recurs because the perpetrators are not tracked down, and there are criticisms about insufficient protection for victims who have suffered mental and physical shock from stalking. Like developed countries, we need to make it easier for stalking victims to consult and report and to have legal assistance in a safe place after reporting to the authorities.