SEOUL, Aug. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – A recent study by the Ministry of Public Safety and Security (MPSS) revealed that Koreans have grown to feel less safe across all social areas in the first half of 2016, with the level of social safety reported by the general population scoring 2.79 out of 5.
The ministry first adopted the indicator in the latter half of 2013, with the initial score coming in at 2.96. The figure dropped to 2.77 and 2.69 in H1 and H2 of 2014, and recovered in 2015, increasing to 2.75 in H1 and 2.88 in H2.
However, with multiple missile launches by North Korea, and high-profile crimes and accidents including the random killing of a female student in Gangnam, a train accident at Guui Station, and the gang rape of a female teacher in Shinan County all taking placing in the first half of 2016, public anxiety towards the society in general has grown, said the ministry.
The public also felt less safe when it came to sexual assault, domestic violence, and food safety, three of the four government-labelled ‘Four Big Evils of Society’ (the fourth being school violence), than it did in H2 2015.
The study revealed that 33.7 percent of the respondents said they were “not safe” from sexual assault, an increase from 30.5 percent in H2 2015, reflective of the shocking news of violence against women in the first half.
Domestic violence peaked at its highest figure ever, with 18.1 percent of respondents saying they didn’t feel safe from domestic violence, which, according to the ministry, was driven by multiple cases this year of domestic violence that resulted in children’s deaths. In fact, the number of child abuse reports increased by 54 percent to 14,600 compared to H1 2015, while domestic violence-related arrests also increased by 27.8 percent to 22,311.
With regards to food safety, 24.1 percent reported feeling insecure, which marked an increase from 20.4 percent in H2 2015.
Public sentiment towards school violence remained almost identical, with 38.4 percent saying they didn’t feel safe (38.5 percent in H2 2015).
Koreans have also grown more skeptical of government measures to eradicate the ‘four evils of society’, with 34 percent of respondents reporting that related eradication measures have not been strengthened, an increase from 29.2 percent in H2 2015.
Park In-yong, the Minister of Public Safety and Security, said despite the public sentiments, “the objective indices, such as decline in deaths from safety accidents, are improving”.
“We’ll thoroughly examine the performance results of various government-announced measures, while reinforcing our monitoring of field processes to help relieve public anxiety.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)