The Korea Herald


Yoon urges police reform focusing on public security

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Oct. 18, 2023 - 15:39

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President Yoon Suk Yeol gives a speech at the Cheong Wa Dae state guest house on Wednesday. (Yonhap) President Yoon Suk Yeol gives a speech at the Cheong Wa Dae state guest house on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

In response to a surge in violent incidents, President Yoon Suk Yeol urged the police to prioritize public security in its reform efforts and to strengthen on-site response capabilities, stressing zero tolerance for crimes against vulnerable groups.

In an opening speech at the 78th National Police Day ceremony on Wednesday, Yoon stressed the need to "break the cycle of heinous crimes" and create a country where people can live in peace.

“Crimes against the weak, including sexual violence, child abuse, domestic violence and stalking, must not be tolerated,” he said. The president expressed hope that the police would "use all their resources" to ensure people do not live in fear of crime in their daily lives.

Yoon vowed to expedite the supply of new gear such as bulletproof equipment and low-risk handguns to effectively respond to violent crimes.

Following a series of recent violent crimes, Yoon ordered a comprehensive police reorganization in August. The police recently decided to cut about 2,900 office positions through an organizational restructuring that integrated departments and to increase patrol personnel by over 9,000.

“Crimes must be prevented in advance,” he said, calling on the police to cooperate with relevant agencies to detect risks early and build a tight social safety net.

He also acknowledged the police's efforts in tackling crime, citing an arrest rate for major violent crimes that is nearing 95 percent. Separately, damages from voice phishing scams have decreased by over 30 percent compared to last year, he added.

Yoon pledged to foster a nation where "heroes in uniform" are honored. He urged all police officers to remember their fundamental duty of safeguarding the public and to remain committed to serving the people.