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Ministry asks for more surveillance cameras in crime-prone areas

Aug. 28, 2023 - 18:26 By Lee Jung-joo
Ministry of Interior and Safety Vice Minister Ko Ki-dong speaks during a joint meeting held with local governments to discuss measures to counter seemingly motiveless crimes at the Government Complex Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

Considering the recent rise in “mudjima” crimes, or “don’t ask why” crimes that have no obvious motive, the Ministry of Interior and Safety called for local governments’ cooperation in preventing such crimes during a joint meeting held on Monday.

During the meeting, the ministry requested more surveillance cameras to be installed in crime-prone areas around the country, such as alleyways. The ministry also announced the nationwide need to implement a “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” agenda by implementing more “Safe Alleys” through the installment of surveillance cameras, security lights and emergency alarm bells. The CPTED agenda is a crime prevention theory that focuses on tactically designing the environment to reduce both crime and the fear of crime.

In addition to the CPTED agenda, the ministry also requested the nationwide expansion of Psychiatric Emergency Response Centers to take quick action against crimes committed by those with mental illnesses. Psychiatric Emergency Response Centers are run by local governments and police, where police officials and mental health professionals work together to respond to psychiatric emergencies and refer individuals to behavioral health institutions if necessary.

Currently, there are three Psychiatric Emergency Response Centers active in South Korea: one run in Seoul, another in northern Gyeonggi and the third in southern Gyeonggi Province.

The ministry also called for local governments to expand their support for neighborhood crime prevention watch groups and to cooperate with local police to strengthen its patrol activities.

“The Ministry of Interior and Safety will continuously strive to resolve concerns related to public safety due to the rise of crimes by cooperating with local governments and preventing further crimes from occurring,” said Vice Minister Ko Ki-dong.