Most Sex Offenders in Seoul Live on the Outskirts

Among the 2,051 convicted sex offenders listed on a government website, 345 live on the outskirts of Seoul.

Jungnang in northeastern Seoul had the most with 26, followed by Eunpyeong in the northwestern part with 22, Nowon with 19, Guro with 19, Yangcheon with 18, Gangdong with 18 and Gwanak with 17. Ganbguk, Seongbuk and Dongdaemun districts are also home to 17 sex offenders each.

But central Seoul with its office buildings and the affluent districts south of the Han River have relatively few sex offenders. Only four live in Jongno in the center, the smallest number for any district. Six live in Seocho and seven in Gangnam, both south of the Han River.

In Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul, Goyang has the most sex offenders with 33. Neighborhoods with factories, military bases or large populations tend to be home to large numbers of sex offenders. Thirty live in Uijeongbu and Bucheon, and 28 in Seongnam.

Outside of metropolitan area, sex offenders also tend to favor factory zones. There are large numbers in the port cities of the steel city of Pohang in North Gyeongsang Province (25), Yeosu in South Jeolla Province (22), Incheon west of Seoul (25), Gumi in North Gyeongsang Province (18), and the steel mill town of Dangjin, South Chungcheong Province (11).

Jeju city is home to 21 and Seogwipo on the southern side of the resort island to eight, a high number of sex offenders compared to its population.

"Convicted sex offenders tend to have problems adjusting to society and are often unemployed," said Huh Chan-hee at Jungdong Medical Center in Daegu. "They usually live in mid-sized cities or on the outskirts of towns where they can remain anonymous."

But the sex offenders listed on the government website are only those who committed their crimes after Jan. 1, 2010. The identities of those who committed their crimes before that date have not been revealed. Authorities believe at least 20,000 people fall into that category. Experts therefore advise parents to remain vigilant even though their neighborhoods have relatively small numbers of sex offenders.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 26, 2012 13:27 KST