S. Korea sees sex crime every 25 minutes: data

SEOUL, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) -- A sexual offense was reported every 25 minutes in South Korea in the first seven months of 2013, data showed Monday, ringing alarm bells over the safety of those vulnerable to sex crimes.

According to the data by the National Police Agency and submitted to Rep. Kim Hyun of the main opposition Democratic Party, a total of 12,234 cases of rape and other types of sexual harassment were reported from January to July this year, which means an incident occurred every 25 minutes.

The so-called crime watch analysis, calculated by dividing the number of crimes by time, aims to show how often a crime happens in an easily understandable way.

During the cited period, the country saw a total of 339,186 cases of the five major crimes -- murder, robbery, sexual assault, theft and assault, or an incident every 54 seconds, according to the data.

By type, an assault case took place every one minute and 52 seconds, theft per one minute and 53 seconds, robbery per six hours and 14 minutes and murder per nine hours and 20 minutes, the data showed.

The frequency of violent crimes taking place lowered this year after three years of a upward trend from 54 seconds in 2010 to 51 seconds in 2011 and 50.4 seconds last year, but the number of reported sex crimes has been on the rise, according to the data.

Last year, the number of sex crimes reported came to 22,034, an upward trend over the past several years, with 13,634 cases in 2007, 15,094 in 2008, 16,156 in 2009 and 19,939 in 2010, a separate data compiled by the Supreme Prosecutors' Office showed.

Following a series of high-profile crimes against women and children, in particular, there has been a public call for tougher measures against sex offenders. President Park Geun-hye labeled it one of the four major social ills that she has vowed to tackle, along with school violence, domestic crimes and substandard food.

"The data reveals how much the people are exposed to dangerous crimes," said lawmaker Kim, calling on the government to further strive to root them out.

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