August 03, 2009 08:59
Most sexual offenses on the subway occurred on Line No. 2, the Seoul Metropolitan Police said Sunday. Based on investigation of 345 sex offenders apprehended on subway trains since January, the subway police squad said line No. 2 saw 213 or 61.7 percent of all offenses. It was followed by Line No. 4 (52 or 15.1 percent) and Line No. 1 (18 or 5.2 percent).
Lee Sang-man, a senior officer at the Seoul subway police squad, said such crimes occur most frequently between Seoul National University and Jamsil stations. "The reason seems to be that many women commute to the Gangnam region and they wear relatively low-cut dresses and short skirts," he claimed.
Some 221 or 64.1 percent of the offenders groped women on the subway trains, mostly during morning rush hours. The hours between 7 and 9 a.m. were the most dangerous time for women since many people rush into or out of subway trains at the same time and many victims reluctantly ignore the groping as they are in a hurry to get to work.
The evening rush hour accounted for 87 offenses or 25.2 percent. Almost no sexual offenses occurred outside peak hours.
Most sex offenders were in their 30s (44.6 percent), followed by those in their 20s (26.4 percent) and those in their 40s (20.9 percent). Office workers accounted for the largest portion with 143, followed by the unemployed (79), college students (24), and civil servants (seven).
Another officer said, "Regardless of their jobs, more than 60 percent of those who were caught red-handed denied the charges." Sex crimes are only prosecuted subject to complaint by the victim, "so the problem is that we can't arrest offenders even if we have evidence unless the victims want to seek punishment for them," he added.
Police said more women are falling victim to so-called "up-skirt" cameras on subway trains. The proportion of offenses involving hidden cameras stood at 14 percent, or 38 cases, of all sexual offenses on subway trains last year but it increased by about 5 percent this year.
"Sex offenders carrying hidden cameras are targeting chiefly women at Ewha Womans University Station on Subway Line No. 2 or at Myeong-dong Station on Line No. 4, which have relatively long and steeply inclined escalators," the officer said.
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