South Korea’s efforts to increase state police services are stalling, as the police-to-population ratio roughly stagnated in the 2015-2016 period, statistics show.
According to data from the National Assembly Budget Office and the National Police Agency, the people-to-police ratio in 2016 was 451, meaning one officer for every 451 citizens, compared to the previous year’s 456.
The number of people that one police officer is accountable for has been declining over the past years, from a peak of 501 in 2011 to 485 in 2013 and 456 in 2015.
The 2016 figure represents a markedly small change of just five, from 456 to 451.
The National Assembly Budget Office attributed the slow pace to budget cuts.
While about 3,000 to 4,000 police officers have been added to the police force annually in recent years, 2015 saw only 1,901 new police officers hired.
According to the police agency, for each police officer in the US there are 427 people in 2015, while the UK’s figure was 422, France 322 and Germany 305.