With the implementation of the SOS Public Relief Service, not only has psychological effects to suppress the desire to commit crime increased, but also contributed to 13 cases of crime prevention in just 9 months, indicating great satisfaction of users on the new initiative.
1) 500,000 service users registered in 9 months, 13 cases of arrests and rescues
The public has recognized the breakthrough for crime prevention of the SOS Public Relief Service, using cutting-edge information technology and contributing to the arrest of offenders. To date, 500,000 people have registered to use the service (2,000 per day) in just 9 months, which includes 260,000 students or 21% of the total elementary school students (1,260,000) in the three service regions (Seoul, Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces), clearly demonstrating keen public interest. The SOS Public Relief Service is also expected to substantially reduce the concerns of working parents on their children’s safety, especially in situations where they are not able to look after their children.
Furthermore, despite a not-so-long period of nine months and a narrow coverage of service in the capital region, the SOS Public Relief Service made significant accomplishment, making a total of 13 cases of arrests and rescues (8 arrests and 5 rescues). For example, on 27 May, 2011, a child saw a man attempting to sexually assault an elementary school girl, and she reported the scene using the SOS Public Relief Service of her mobile phone. The police instantly tracked down the location and arrived at the scene, thereby preventing further damage.
2) Strong satisfaction of citizens, service users and service providers
In December 2011, a survey was conducted on 3,000 people, including citizens, service users and police officers to assess the satisfaction level of the SOS Public Relief Service. As a result, 93.2% of citizens and 90.7% of the SOS Public Relief Service users answered that the service is helpful in an emergency. And 95.7% of service users said that this service will prevent potential crimes. In addition, 77.7% of the police officers (service provider) indicated that the SOS Public Relief Service helps their investigation and expected that it will further assist in arresting criminals. And 83.5% of police officers said that it has effects to prevent crimes expressing their positive attitude toward the service.
Furthermore, there have been many positive media coverage (19 television reports and 23 newspaper articles). Joongang Daily, one of major newspapers in Korea, reported: “Policies that meet citizens' demands, like the SOS Public Relief Service, indeed receive public support without putting any pressure on the people and expect the government to formulate such citizen-oriented policies."
3) Anticipated psychological effect to suppress potential crimes
It is believed that potential criminals would have considerable psychological pressure on the fact that the victim can report to the police to come to the scene for making arrest without the offender actually knowing. Sujeong Lee (a criminal psychology specialist and a professor at Gyeonggi University) said that public security systems like the SOS Public Relief Service have significant impact on crime prevention, especially crimes committed by strangers.