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Violence and homicide in South Korea in 2005–2007
  1. J Hong*,
  2. J Pil Cho
  1. Correspondence Center for Community Safety Promotion, School of Medicine, Ajou University, #5, Wonchon-dong, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon City, 443-721, Republic of Korea


To describe rates and patterns of violence and homicides.

Reported violence and homicide cases to police during 3-year period were analysed. After reading police narratives for all violence and homicides, we coded those using a predetermined set of variables. Circumstances preceding cases, reason, inflicting method, place, time, relationship between perpetrators and victims, as well as sex, age, job, and educational level of perpetrators and victims were assessed.

During study period, 7410 violence and 55 homicide cases were reported. Women were more likely to be victims. Both perpetrators and victims were more likely to work in the service industry and perpetrators were more likely to be middle school graduates and victims were elementary school. Arguments/disputes were major reason and daily routine was major circumstance. In violence, body parts were most common method of inflicting, whereas sharp instruments in homicides. Relationship between perpetrators and victims was mostly strangers in violence, whereas in homicides, spouses/partners as well as strangers were the majority. Majority of violence occurred during night, but homicides occurred sporadically. Regarding urbanisation levels of onset areas, violence mostly occurred in urban areas, but homicides in rural. In violence, number of perpetrators and victims were more likely to be one person, whereas in homicides, number of perpetrators was more than one person.

Arguments/disputes, daily routine, strangers or spouses/partners, service workers and 40s are significant factors relating to violence and homicides in South Korea. Therefore, people with these characteristics should be the targets for crime prevention.

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