South Korea has a unique solution to the lack of investigators of small crimes. They have developed a cadre of video vigilantes. These “video vigilantes” patrol the streets looking to catch people in minor crimes such as illegally dumping garbage or failing to give a receipt for a sale.
John M. Glionna of The Los Angeles Times is reporting from South Korea that there are people patrolling South Korea with hidden cameras snapping pictures of people who engage in crimes that they would typically get away with because there is no way that the country could have enough investigators available to watch them.
Glionna’s article, “In South Korea, Vigilante “Paparazzi” Patrol the Streets,” reports that these people are made up of bored homemakers, college students and out-of-work salary men.
The report focuses on 34-year-old Kim Rae-in who used to be a gas station attendant. Last month he made $3,000 primarily turning in shopkeepers who didn’t give receipts for purchases which is a federal law.
Many people feel that this type of “law” is wrong and that these people are little more than “snitches” who deserve to be “beat up.” However the ersatz response is that those who have a problem with it are people who break the law. People who are honest don’t have a problem with it.
A handicapped friend of mine got sick of having to struggle to get into a store he often traded with. Even though there were three handicapped parking places, they were always full. He decided to sit outside the store and shoot pictures of cars as they came and went parking in these places. He made sure that he got the handicapped sign and the car’s license plates in the photo.
These plates were checked out by the police and each car owner was issued a ticket. Now, I don’t know whether or not they could have fought the ticket and won but, no one fought. Further, my friend now frequently finds a parking place.
As a result of the economy, cities, states and countries are having more and more trouble keeping up with petty crime yet, that is the type of crime that most often robs people of very basic rights.
Many schools have now popped up in South Korea teaching people how to do this type of work.
I don’t particularly like the idea of civilians reporting on other civilians because there are too many dangerous directions that can go but unless we learn to police our own actions we are going to bring that on ourselves.