Women feel safe in Seoul public toilets mounted with emergency bells

By Park Sae-jin Posted : December 29, 2016, 16:46 Updated : December 29, 2016, 16:46

[Courtesy of Daejeon Jungbu Police Station]

Women will feel safe when they do their needs in public toilets installed with emergency bells which are connected wirelessly to nearby police stations and patrol cars. They will sound an alarm and flicker a red warning light to chase away potential criminals.

By March next year, 3,914 emergency bells will be installed in 731 toilets at all public parks in Seoul to curb a growing number of crimes and sexual assaults, especially in female bathrooms. As of Thursday, the metropolitan government has already completed the installation of 2,631 emergency bells in 494 public toilets.

The emergency bell will not only sound an alarm and shine with bright lights when activated but will immediately send an alert via 3G mobile networks to police.

In South Korea, public toilets have been regarded as a crime hot spot for decades. It became a social issue only in May this year after a 34-year-old man self-dubbed as a woman hater brutally stabbed a young woman to death at a public toilet right next to the exit of a crowded subway station in Seoul's Gangnam district.

The incident brought nationwide shock and public awareness of the crimes targeting women lurking in public toilets. Police said it was a random hate crime motivated by the man's hatred for women, but voices demanding secure environment at public toilets have gotten louder.
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