July 09, 2008 09:15
Although there are increasing concerns about crimes committed by foreigners as the number of resident expatriates now exceeds 1 million, expert opinion is that it is not at a serious level.
While the crime rate among Koreans is 3.5 percent, it is 1.4 percent among foreigners and even lower among illegal immigrants, because they want to stay longer in Korea to work and earn money and tend to lie low. Choi Young-shin at the Korean Institute of Criminology said it was unfair to view illegal immigrants as potential criminals.
While it is true that the number of crimes is increasing as the number of foreigners rises, the crime rate remains low. The number of foreign criminals took a threefold leap from 3,438 in 2000 to 9,103 in 2004, and in 2007, the number rose to 14,524.
The Ministry of Justice feels that compulsory registration of fingerprints, which was abolished in 2004, is needed. The Roh Moo-hyun administration abolished the system as it was thought to contain elements of human rights violation.
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