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Korean Crime Victim Survey 2012
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December 01, 2013


1. Purposes and Values This is a report on 3th Korean Crime Victim Survey(KCVS). The nationwide victimization survey in Korea was initiated in 1994 and conducted every three years by the Korean Institute of Criminology(KIC). The KIC restructured the whole system of the survey and re-launched it as the Korean Crime Victim Survey(KCVS) in 2009. In that year the KCVS was acquired the status of “National Statistics” approved by the Korea National Statistics Office. Since 2009, the KCVS has been conducted every other year. The purpose of this study is as follow: Firstly, the study is to provide basic crime statistics based on the results as follows; 1) victimization rate, percentage of crime victimization reported to the police and cost of crimes such as burglary, theft robbery, assault and wounding, sexual assault, fraud, threatening and stalking, and damage to property, 2) vulnerable factors of crime victimization, 3) Korean people's perceptions and attitudes on crime. Secondly, the study is to improve and supplement problems of research methodology the 1st & 2nd KCVS that could elevate accuracy, usefulness and reliability of the survey results. Thirdly, the study is to provide researchers as well as common people with database of the result of survey. 2. Contents Methodological changes of KCVS in 2012 -Change in the title of survey : In order to get more active cooperation from respondents and reduce the nonacceptance rate in a poor research environment, the title of [Korean Crime Victim Survey] will change into [Survey on National Life Safety Condition] and the name of ‘householder’ or ‘head of the family’ will be amended to ‘representative of the family.’ -Correction of inquiry system on crime victimization (screening questions) : In order to consider the consistency and validity of the questionnaire and the rate of reporting crime victim, the existing questions and the methods made for 1st and 2nd surveys will be entirely revised through the reviewing process. Especially the title of the current selected questions, which can analyse crime types, can be replaced as neutral names such as ‘related to deception, goods, invasion, destruction, place, method, acquaintance, sexual molestation and etc.’ and the categories of ‘harassment’ and ‘victim of sexual violence (added in the 2nd Survey)’ will be deleted. In addition, the current method of response will change from 3-stage responses into 1.5-stage. -Amendment on fraud-victim questions and exemption of attempted crimes : Voice-phishing, one of the main cases of fraud crimes, will be supplemented to be added. Considering the characteristics of fraud crimes, the victims of attempted crimes can be difficult to be recognized and this survey will revise the questionnaire to exempt the attempted crimes. -Determine the concept of crime recidivism(repeat victimization) : Crime recidivism will be stipulated as the victim of the offense which has been committed no less than 5 times with similar crime methods, but it is difficult to distinguish each case. In this case, this survey will change to report the most seriously damaged case among others. -Improvement on investigation guideline and method to determining criminal damage cases : The key change is the case whether the existing recidivism damage should be confirmed to be in the questionnaire. And through the screening questionnaire of the [Basic Check List] and crime damage list, researchers should consider the recidivism and the number of damage cases, finalize the final incident check list and make respondents report the crime cases by the number of cases which have been designated. -Change the contents of questionnaire and survey chart : After reviewing the contents of questionnaire based on the fact that the influence on the quality of response due to the increased fatigue, duplicated questions with one concept, low connectivity with dependent variables and low validity, this survey deleted existing 9 questions and newly supplemented or revised 25 questions. When it comes to the survey chart, this paper deleted 3, supplemented 31 and newly added 7 tables. -Development of a new classification system on crime types and amendment : Existing methods which distinguish household crime and individual crime understand the household crime as violence and robbery in the home, however, it is blurred to figure out the differences between household crime and individual crime. In addition, the problems of applying the aggravation about the accident in the home to the individuals, and in this light, the difficulties of calculating the total crime victimization rate have been raised. To address those problems, this survey destroyed the existing classification(separating household crime and individual crime) referred to the National Crime Victim Survey in the US(NCVS). A new classification system divided the categories into physical damages and property damages, and home invasion was fallen into the special fraction in order for separated management. In official crime types, physical damages and property damages were put as higher classification, and based on the relative standard error, 8 kinds of crime types like rape, robbery, violence, pickpocket, theft, destruction, fraud, home invasion were categorized as midium classification. The core contents of research -Victimization rate of major crimes based on new crime-typology -Aspect and process that crime victimization occurs; -Physical, property and mental losses and damages caused by the crime, social cost such as time loss. -Percentage of crime victimization reported to the police and Crime victim's experience and satisfaction with case processing; -Vulnerable factors of crime victimization; -Perception and attitude on crime and associated factors : perception on criminal trend, fear of crime and crime prevention activities. 3. Methodology Population -Target population : Households residing in the territory of the Republic of Korea in survey reference date(may 29, 2013) and members of\ household who are14 years old or older; -Survey population : Households residing in common enumeration district (1) and apartment enumeration district (A) of general enumeration district according to 2010 Census and members of household who were 14 years old or older; -Sampling : Get sample enumeration district by Probability Proportionate Sampling(PPS) and get sample of 10 households in sample enumeration by Systematic Sampling Collection of the data : Interview and self-repondent method Total number of samples -Total number of households : 6,300 households -Total number of interviewees : 13,317 persons Survey period -Preliminary briefing and training : May 20, 2013 ~ May 25, 2013 (6-days); -Survey period : May 29, 2013 ~ June 12, 2013 (15-days) Survey Reference period -Reference period : from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012; -Reference date : May 29, 2013 Survey system -Research team : Design the questionnaire, make out survey guidelines, set up internal inspection rule and establish action strategy at the stage of planning and preparation. -Department of survey agent support : Actual survey; -Group work : Education of surveyors and superviors survey and the data. 4. The Results (1) Crime victimization rate by crime types and the results -2012 crime victimization rate : In 2012, 519 persons suffered from 8 kinds of main crimes such as robbery, rape, violence, injury, fraud, theft, destruction, home invasion, which represents 3.9% of total of 13,317 persons. Total number of crime victimization accounted for 601 cases (4.5%), and it means each individual, who has been a crime victim, suffered from crime of 1.16 case on average. Comparing to, 4,300 persons, the number of persons at the age of over 14, it accounted for 4,600.2 cases for the population of 100,000 and 1,900,000 cases of physical and property damages had occurred in last year. -Victimization rate of physical crimes : The numbers are 92 cases among the 13,317 sample cases and 323,959 cases among 42,936,210 persons, which accounted for 0.8% and was expected to be 754.5 cases among the population of 100,000. By the violent crime types, during the last year, the rate of sexual violence crime was 173.5 cases per 100,000 people (0.2%), 65.7 (0.1%) in robbery offense, 515.3 crimes cases (0.5%) in violence crimes (intimidation / violence / injury, etc.). Physical damage in the town region (Dong), women under 20, unmarried was higher and 30% of physical crime offense was done by acquaintance. The damages by acquaintance were higher to the person in the case of living in town (Eup, Myeon), women, persons who are ate the age of 30’s, not married. -Victimization rate of property crimes : It occurred 509 cases of the sample of 13,317 people, 1,651,196 in 42,936,210 people with the percentage of 3.8%, which represents the cases of 3,845.7 per 100,000 population (38.5 cases per thousand). Criminal damage to property, during the year of 2012, the cases of pickpocket crimes are expected to just 103.4 (0.1%) with a population of 100,000 people, 1,076 (1.1%) in home invasion, 1,224.9 (1.2%) in general theft, 628.4 cases (0.6%) in destruction, 813 (0.8%) in fraud. The rate of property damage was higher in the case of living in town (Dong), the average monthly household income for 3 million won, four or more family members’ house and living in a detached house. -Victimization rate of criminals targeting homes : Criminals targeting homes are associated with the home invasion and vehicle crime types. Representative crime types are home invasion robbery, home invasion theft, destruction with home invasion, home invasion, car theft, car damages. During the year of 2012, 153 households underwent such a crime among a whole households of 6,300 households, which represented 2.5% of the total. In this country of 18,000,000 households, 450,000 cases are estimated to be fallen into this case. By categorizing criminals targeting homes, the rate of home invasion theft damages (1.2%) ranked at the first and followed cars destruction (0.8%) respectively. The rate of criminals targeting homes was high in the case of living in town (Eup, Myeon), the average monthly household income of less than 1 million won and living in a detached house. In addition, criminals targeting homes generated 10.3% higher in the day time than at night. -Crime recidivism: Duplicate damage clearly distinguished from each other in more than two meanings, victimization of recidivism is a damages committed in a very similar form by same offender (in some cases, the offender can not be the same persons) with several times (more than five times in this study). A prime examples of the damages are continued habitual domestic violence or school violence, a serious type of stalk. The survey results persons who suffered from crime recidivism in last year (2012) experienced from as many as 5 to as few as 36 cases. All habitual victims of the 9 persons was 0.1% of the total. Incidence of recidivism is not included in total offense, however, if the sum of all these damages to the number, the total number will increase from 601 to 688 cases and the victimization rate will also go up from 4.6 to 5.2 percent. -Cost of major crime in 2012: During the last year (2012), the amount of damage caused to property crime can be analyzed as theft offense (a total of 236 cases), was KRW 890,000, destruction crime (60 cases) was KRW 320,000, and fraud (108 cases) was a little more than KRW 10,000,000 at the average amount of damages (ranged from KRW 3,000 at least up to KRW 300,000,000), which was the largest amount among other crime types. Victims of property crime in damages from the perpetrator, if properly received, has virtually no compensation. On the other hand, the average cost of treatment of injury victims (a total of 20 cases) appeared around KRW 300,000, however, mental damage is higher than the property damage, so there is a limit to be simply calculate the costs. In addition, compensation for physical damage is also almost no case made correctly. -Percentage of crime victimization reported to the police : The reporting rate on damages was 24.7%. Criminal property damage (23.5%) compared to body criminal damage (32.2%) is relatively high. Among physical damages, the reporting rate on damage of violence crime (40.5%) was topped and that of sexual damage(8.4%) was shown in the lowest. Among property crimes, the reporting rate of fraud was the ranked the first (6.0%) and that of destruction (11.4%) was the lowest. In particular, this research said measures to enhance sexual damage will be needed to be actively sought. After 2008, examining the trends for crime reporting rate, each year continues to increase in reporting crimes, which was not only due to the active role of the police but also thanks to the atmosphere of democratic society to increase in awareness and communication technologies. To do this, the development of IT and private security personnel seems to be related to such aggressive action. -The satisfaction rate on dealing with the reported crimes : The satisfaction rate of police activity on property damage was lower than that of body damages. Also according to the results of analyzing the loss of time in processing cases, the interesting point is that the claimant on the loss of time was regarded on the police stage by reporters and followed on the stages of Prosecution Service and Courts, however, in real, Court took the most longest time period to manage the both physical injury and property damages, especially in the case of physical damage at the level of the police assumed shorter days of lost time. (2) Vulnerability factors in crime in 2012 -Crime victim by regional characteristics : 1) In the case of property crime, the stronger the relationship between neighbors, the general theft and home invasion robbery damage showed the reduction of potential damage. Unexpectedly, the higher participation rate of neighbors about local issues showed higher potential damage on property crime. That might be assumed that the people living in vulnerable areas had more aggressive response to the crime problem than in other areas. Both physical disorder and social disorder had significant impact on the victimization rate of property crime. 5.8% of participants living in the physical disorder experienced a property crime and disorder, while only 2.8% of respondents living in non physical disorder had damages. Local police crime prevention activities and the level of crime control capacities are closely correlated each other. The damage rate of property crime among the groups which are recognized to be effective policing of property crime is 2.6%, which is much lower than 6.8% of the population which are recognized to be ineffective policing of property crime. About local crime trends, the damage rate of property crime among those who responded crime will increase was 4.5%, which was higher than 3.0% of those who answered crime will unchanged or decreased. 2) On the other hand, in the case of violent crime, neighborhood relations, neighborhood participation, the level of physical disorder was not significant on the rate of crime victimization. However, the level of social disorder had significantly influenced on crime victimization by region like 2.1% in the disordered region, 0.6% in the average area and 0.3% in orderly society. In addition, the perceptions on the effectiveness of police activities showed as a significant factor on crime victimization rate. Only 1.5% of respondents of those who regarded police activity as effective or moderate experienced a crime, while 1.2% of respondents of those who are regarded police activity as ineffective faced violence at least once. Living in a crime that is also recognized by the population remarkably increases in violent crime rate than the other groups. -Crime victim by household characteristics: In relation to home invasion crime, comparing that 3.3% of the detached housing and 2.1% of multi-family housing faced the crime, only 0.6% of apartment households experienced the crime. Poor crime prevention and vulnerable to burglary crime levels are important factors to increase the risk of crime. In the cases of poor crime prevention by individual house and its week environment by neighbors, the burglary crime rate was 3.4%, whoever, the households with 7-8 security facilities showed only 0.4% of crime rates. Last, the householders who leave the house for less than 4 hours a day, or for between 4-8 hours a day experienced a higher degree of crime rates of home invasion crime, but the time difference of living their house was not so much a significant factor. -Crime victim by socio-demographic characteristics: 1) In the case of property crime, by age, 4.7% of respondents who are at the age of 30’s experienced the crime, which ranked the first stage and followed 3.8% in their 50’s and 3.5% in their 40’s. Only 1.9% at the age of 70’s showed the lowest crime victimization rate. By the education standard, higher education level showed higher crime victimization rate like 5.6% of post graduate school graduates, 3.7% of university graduates, 3.9% of the college graduate, 2.0% of respondents who had not been educated and only 3.0% of primary school graduates. By the type of jobs, the victimization rate of managers / professionals was topped at 4.9%, and technicians (4.1%), service / sales workers (4.1%), housewives (3.4%), office workers (3.3%) were in the order. On the other hand, 2) in the case of violent crime, other socio-demographic characteristics, except for gender, remarkably affected violent crime. By age group, those who are in their 20’s (1.0%), 10’s (0.9%) and 40’s (0.8%) were higher in the order, and older respondents who are at the age of 70’s or more (0.1%) and 60’s (0.2%) were relatively low. The single (0.9%) respondents was higher than married (0.5%), or widowed / divorced (0.4%) groups in violent crime victimization rate. By the education level, as criminal damage to property, the victimization rate of the post graduate school graduates (1.7%) was much higher than those who have lower education level. By the type of jobs, the manager / professional’ crime victimization rate was the highest as 1.1%, and followed office workers (0.8%) in order. -Crime victim by lifestyle characteristics: 1) This research analyzed drunken or return to late night was a significant factor to increase the frequency of the risk of property crime. 2.6% of the respondents who rarely or never returned home after 22:00 o’clock experienced the violence, whereas 4.6 % of the respondent who returned late 2-3 days a week faced the crime. The respondents who have drunken and returned to late night almost every day recorded 6.0% of crime rates, while the respondents who have never drunken and returned to late night showed only 3.2%. In addition, those who recognized to be vulnerable to crime showed more high-risk property crime rate than others in property crime. 2) When it comes to the violence crime, criminal damages of those who used public transportation five days a week as well as 1-2 day public transportation commuters recorded the highest crime victimization rate of 0.9%. In general, the group of those frequently returned home after 22:00 o’clock showed relatively higher crime rate than the opposite group in violent crime. And in the case of retuning home with drunken, retuning home with drunken about one day a month reached the highest point of 1.4%. Going out with luxury clothing and accessories was two times vulnerable to the crime than the comparative group by approaching the crime victimization rate of 1.3%. Finally, 2.0% of respondents of the group who felt vulnerable to crime experienced violence crime. Comparing to this statistics, 8% of people who think they are in a normal level and o.4% of those who are not vulnerable to crime faced the crime, which demonstrated a sharp difference. -Fear of crime by victimization : 1) Regardless of the kinds of fear, groups of experiencing property crime has more fear of crime than others who have not. The difference between the group of repeatedly suffered more than once and once has showed a similar statistical pattern only in terms of fears on property damage, sexual assault and spouse victimization. Particularly crime concerns caused by own experience of crime go to the persons who are in an intimate relation like their children and a spouse. On the other hand, 2) in the case of general fear, fear of property damage, fear of physical harm, the experiencing and non-experiencing crime groups showed a statistically significant difference in fear. However, levels of repeated violence does not increase the fear. When it comes to sexual assault, while the groups who had damaged more than twice had more concerned on the damage of there-violence than other two groups. The difference of crime fear by acquaintances was significant between the experience of violence damage and the inexperienced. -Analysis on vulnerability factors to crime by level : After analyzing all variables vulnerabilities at the individual level, the regional level, and local level such as neighbor relationships, neighborhood participation, and physical disorders are key factors of potential crime. The stronger the ties between neighbors, the lower neighborhood participation to local problems, and lower levels of physical disorder have decreased the possibility of crime. The individual-level factors of potential crime are marital status, educational level, and late return, recognition on vulnerabilities to crime. Unmarried and less educated person are likely to lower crime. In addition, those who return home at night or those who perceived themselves vulnerable to crime have faced more crime damages. (3) Perception and fear of crime in 2012 -Awareness of trends in crime: 63.7% of the Korean people answered that the overall crime rate will increase in Korea. On the other hand, only 28.9% of people responded that the crime rate in their neighborhood will increase the crime, which means people think that crime rate in the place of farther away from their living place will go up. However, comparing to the figures of the last 2011 survey response rate of 61.4% and 26.8%, people’s awareness crime rate has declined than before. -Factors affecting awareness of crime trends : Awareness of crime trends, gender was affected by demographic characteristics of individuals like gender, age, occupation, income level and their own experience of crime, someone else's experience about criminal damage, the level of exposure to crime-related stories and news. This means that we have to pay attention to the media coverage and the efforts to reduce crime in order to reduce the general public's declining crime rates. -Analysis on the factor to awareness about the crime trend : Level of confidence in the police action in town (Eup, Myeon, Dong) of Korea has negatively affected trend of crime, which was to be recognized that the crime in Korea has been reduced. In addition, the awareness of the community on that the physical and social disorder of town (Eup, Myeon, Dong) and the higher level of physical disorder and social disorder will increase has been raised, however, people also regard that the higher community effectiveness of town (Eup, Myeon, Dong) can cause the crime reduction. According to the results of cross-interaction, social disorder of town (Eup, Myeon, Dong) was closely connected with the individual level of experience, those the experienced thinks the high level of social disorder will increase the rate of the crime in their own town. -The fear of crime: 24.6% of Koreans are “afraid to be alone at night or walk around” which is 1.0% lower than 25.6% in the 2011 survey figure. Meanwhile, by the crime type (theft, burglary, assault, fraud, sexual assault, destruction, home invasion, stalking, etc.), the number of those who are not afraid of crime was more than that of those who are afraid, and among the above mentioned crime, the level of fear on the home invasion reached the highest point. -Factors affecting fear of crime: Those who are women than men, those with lower age, the higher education level and the higher the income level increased the fear of crime. In addition, those the experienced or indirect experienced by acquaintance and those frequently exposed to a crime-related news and stories have more fears on crime. -Analysis on the level of fear of crime analysis : Social disorder like town (Eup, Myeon, Dong) stimulates the fear of any type of crime and community effectiveness of town (Eup, Myeon, Dong) has played a role to increase the concrete fear, fear on property damage and fear on physical damage. In addition, the trustfulness on police activity at town (Eup, Myeon, Dong) contribute to lower fear on sexual abuse. The cross variables between regional level and individual level showed interesting results. Women comparing to men showed a higher fear to all types of crime, especially women living in town (Eup, Myeon, Dong) which in a high social disorder and people who are frequently exposed to the media outlet have more fear to crimes. However, those living in town (Eup, Myeon, Dong) with the high trustfulness on police activity were to offset and lowered the fear of the crime. Through the police activities we can encourage that the fear of crime can be able to be lowered. 5. Reformation and Improvement This study suggested reformation and improvement to elevate accuracy, usefulness, and reliability of the survey: 1) Expand sample size and investigate related issues, 2) Cooperate with the Statistics Korea(National Statistical Office) to elevate reliability of national statistics, 3) Investigate types of index crimes again, 4) Measurement of series victimization and improve data collection strategy, 5) Make use of Internet survey, 6) Establish standing research team for crime victimization survey.

Eunkyeong Kim

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Report List

Jitae Hwang

Crime Trends&Analysis

Senior Research Fellow

Jitae Hwang's picture

Research Interest (Major)

Criminal Statistics, Criminal Sociology

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Euigab Hwang

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Sunghoon Roh

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