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Surge in subway crimes: 3,546 reported, highest in a decade

Surge in subway crimes: 3,546 reported, highest in a decade

Posted April. 17, 2024 07:25,   

Updated April. 17, 2024 07:25


It was found that more than 3,500 crimes, including sexual harassment and illegal filming, occurred in the Seoul subway, which is used by over 7 million people every day, last year alone. However, subway security officers do not have judicial authority, including the right to arrest, so they are defenselessly exposed to assault victims.

According to the National Police Agency on Tuesday, there were a total of 3,546 subway crimes in Seoul last year, including theft, sexual harassment, and illegal filming, with an average of 9.7 cases per day. It was confirmed that it recorded the highest number in the past 10 years, following 2,619 cases in 2021 and 3,378 cases in 2022. Victims of assault targeting subway security officers and station employees were occurring once every two days. According to the Seoul Transportation Corporation, there have been more than 100 assaults against security officers and others every year, including 204 in 2021, 238 in 2022, and 177 last year.

Experts have suggested granting judicial authority to subway security officers, similar to practices in Australia and the Netherlands, to address the escalating trend of subway crimes. Lee Yun-ho, a professor at the Department of Police at Korea Cyber University, emphasized the limitations of relying solely on police intervention for crimes such as violence with weapons, sexual offenses, and illegal filming in the subway, stating the necessity of enabling judicial authority for subway security officers.

이채완 기자 chaewani@donga.com