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Seoul police to reinvestigate all ongoing stalking cases to bolster victim protection

Kim Byung-chan leaves Seoul Namdaemun Police Station to be transported to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office on Nov. 29. (Yonhap)
Kim Byung-chan leaves Seoul Namdaemun Police Station to be transported to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office on Nov. 29. (Yonhap)
Police in Seoul were ordered to look into all pending stalking and sexual offense cases again to see if the victims are under sufficient protection, officials said Tuesday, after recent two deaths were blamed on failures to provide due police protection.

The order, issued by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, came after criticism of police rose after a 26-year-old man, surnamed Lee, killed his former girlfriend's mother and seriously injured her younger brother at their home in southern Seoul last week.

Last month, a 35-year-old man named Kim Byung-chan was arrested on charges of killing his ex-girlfriend with a knife at her studio apartment in central Seoul after stalking her for months.

In both cases, the victims were on the police protection list under the country's first anti-stalking law enacted earlier this year, but the police failed to prevent the stalking from escalating into a more serious crime.

On Monday, Kim Chang-yong, the chief of the National Police Agency, expressed regret over last week's killing, saying that police currently lack manpower, funds and legal grounds to properly run the protection system for stalking victims.

Since the anti-stalking law took effect on Oct. 21, the average number of daily stalking reports increased fourfold to 105, according to police.

Police said they plan to devise a more comprehensive response against stalking crimes and explain the details in a press briefing on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

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