Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon on Friday promised to draw up measures to prevent crime in the city after visiting a hiking trail in Sillim-dong, southern Seoul, where a man allegedly assaulted and raped a woman a day earlier.
“As the mayor, I feel a strong sense of responsibility for such unexpected crimes taking place in many parts of the city lately,” Oh said at the crime site.
“The city government will try its best to implement as many crime-preventive environmental designs as possible to discourage criminals.”
The mayor stressed the need to minimize blind spots by installing as many CCTVs as possible, referring to how the recent case took place in the middle of a mountain, where surveillance cameras are seldom found.
The 30-year-old suspect, identified by his surname Choi, told the police that he chose the site as he knew there were no surveillance cameras around.
The suspect is accused of beating and raping a woman on a hiking trail in Sillim-dong, Gwankak District in southern Seoul, around Thursday noon. He was taken into custody at 12:10 p.m. the same day after police received a report claiming that a woman screamed, asking for help on the mountain.
The victim was immediately sent to a hospital but remains unconscious.
According to the police, Choi admitted that he wore brass knuckles on each of his hands to beat the woman.
He testified that he physically assaulted the victim to rape her.
Choi left his home in Geumcheon District, southern Seoul, at 9:55 a.m. Thursday and arrived at the entrance of the hillside park in Sillim-dong at 11:01 a.m.
The suspected crime scene is about 20 minutes away from the entrance.
The alleged crime took place as the police declared a special enforcement operation against heinous crimes as multiple knife-wielding incidents and continuous online murder threats sparked fears across the country earlier in the month.
Gwanak District was also where 33-year-old Jo Seon attacked four people with a knife last month, resulting in the death of a man.
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo on Friday urgently ordered police to use every resource to strengthen public safety, citing rising concern with yet another crime taking place in a public area despite elevated patrols.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Han instructed the National Police Agency to put all their efforts into preventing crimes by increasing security in places where violent crimes frequently take place and in popular open areas such as parks and trails.
The police began a special enforcement operation against violent crimes earlier in the month, deploying an average of 10,000 personnel every day to over 3,000 crowded spaces and facilities.
BY CHO JUNG-WOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]