The number of crimes by soldiers against civilians has risen in recent years, according to data from the Ministry of National Defense and the nation’s armed services.
The total number of criminal cases involving service members, which stood at 2,910 in 2011, rose to 2,975 in 2012 and 3,757 last year. As of June 30 this year, the number was tallied at 1,841, according to the data obtained by Saenuri Party Rep. Shon In-chun.
Last year, traffic-related crimes accounted for 28.9 percent of the total cases involving soldiers, while assault and fraud cases made up 28.7 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively. Sexual crimes comprised 8.9 percent and manslaughter cases 1.4 percent.
In terms of rank, 55.5 percent of the crimes were committed by enlisted soldiers while 29.6 percent of the cases were perpetrated by noncommissioned officers and 11.2 percent by commissioned officers.
The Army topped the list with its members implicated in 2,702 incidents, some 71.9 percent of the total, while the Navy and Air Force personnel were involved in 791 cases, or 21.1 percent, and 191 cases, or 5.1 percent, respectively.
“The fact that the number of crimes by soldiers against civilians has been on the rise each year illustrates that the soldiers were oblivious to their duty and roles to protect the lives and properties of the people,” said Shon.
By Song Sang-ho (firstname.lastname@example.org)