Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Need for Sherlock

The streets in Seoul have the reputation of being really safe.

That's what my engaging host - and everyone else we met during our travels - keeps repeating with more than a little sense of pride. Don't really blame them. Swayed by their utter conviction, I am starting to believe it as well. Hard not to when you see ostensibly vulnerable young females tottering home in their skyscraper heels way past midnight through the darkest back-alleys without fear of molestation.

Though it might be worth some crime to be rescued by a cop who looks like Choi Siwon.

Even the house that I lived in, a hanok-style homestay only has brick walls that are barely five feet high. Wouldn't take much for an aspiring thief to boost themself over for a quick steal. After all the rooms in the wooden hanok only have sliding doors without locks; even the doors themselves wouldn't provide much security since it's made of flimsy wood and paper.

Yet I felt really safe. With the host living in his own abode several blocks down, it was only Charming Calvin and me in the old-fashioned hanok home. Still we felt secure enough to even leave the main gates wide open throughout the day.  

No fear of snatch thieves. No fear of robbers. No fear of assailants.

Sherlock might be out of a job.


Which is something our ruling government patently fails to understand. Trotting out bales of statistics to prove that crime is at an all-time low wouldn't pacify the raging masses in the least. Who cares about perfectly polished numbers when someone you know has been butchered and robbed several weeks past? Who needs beautiful pie charts and graphs when even senior government servants are gunned down in broad daylight? With the perceived rise in crime, even our recreational parks don't feel safe anymore.

Certainly no crime expert but increasing police visibility on our streets as a deterrent would help. Can't walk by two blocks in Seoul without seeing the boys in blue standing vigilant at the corner. 

2 comments:

Ban said...

they released our police budget some time back. IIRC (which I may not), the gist of it was a small percentage was set aside for fighting crime, maybe 8% Large share was for management and internal security/public order.

savante said...

Pathetic kan? I would have expected a higher percentage.