SEOUL, March 3 (Korea Bizwire) – Law enforcement agencies are being criticized for focusing more on publicity and performance records rather than investigating and fighting crime.
Even the police themselves acknowledge that taking pictures to upload on their SNS accounts during urgent missions has become an issue, and sometimes the contents are exaggerated in the process of promoting a heartwarming case.
Some were criticized for announcing fake facts or exaggerating cases to embellish their achievements.
A photo of a young female police officer talking down a man trying to commit suicide touched the hearts of many on Facebook. In the image, the young police officer was seen hugging someone from behind, a man who was trying to commit suicide after grieving the loss of his child. She offered to be his daughter whenever he visited the police station, and finally the man changed his mind.
The public was touched by the story, but when it was revealed that the person who took the picture turned out to be the police woman’s superior, a firestorm erupted. The fact that the other officer took pictures instead of helping to change the man’s mind was criticized as being inappropriate.
A police station in Cheonan fabricated false comments in a press release about the rescue of an elderly lady who was trapped in a cold bathroom for 21 hours. They said that the building’s janitor commented that the incident happened due to his mistake. However, the comment was proven to be wrong.
The police themselves are as angry as the public. When it is hard for them to receive promotions even after catching a violent criminal or solving a case involving an intellectual offender, some officers are quickly promoted because of one ‘heartwarming’ photo uploaded on SNS.
A detective of 25 years commented that the upper-level executives want pictures that can create a buzz on SNS, as ‘promoting the force’ is an important part of their evaluations. “It became natural to take a camera, even on an urgent case”, the detective sighed. “We hope that officers who do their job quietly at harsh crime scenes can be noticed more.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)