|Police have drawn criticism for their "slow response" to an urgent call made by a woman before she was murdered. Gettyimagesbank|
By Lee Gyu-lee
Police have drawn criticism for their "slow response" to a victim's desperate call for help before she was stabbed to death by a man last week.
According to a petition on the Cheong Wa Dae website, posted Monday by a person who claimed to be a daughter of the victim, police officers arrived at the attacker's home in Gwangmyeong about 50 minutes after the call.
"Police officers arrived in the neighborhood (about 6 minutes after the call) … but they walked right past the place (where she was being assaulted), looking for her, with their hands in their pockets," the petitioner wrote.
"My mother could have survived if they did their job properly and arrived there earlier … Even after 40 minutes, they were still looking for the scene."
The petitioner said the victim was still alive when the officers arrived in the neighborhood, citing the estimated time of her death.
The petitioner called for the police to be held accountable for "failing to complete their duty" and demanded proper measures to prevent similar incidents.
The petition has so far garnered more than 2,000 signatures.
According to Gwangmyeong Police Station, the officers were dispatched on a "code 0" ― the most urgent code assigned to major crimes such as abduction or murder ― after receiving a report from the victim at around 12:50 a.m. on Feb. 17.
The victim, in her 40s, was being held in the murderer's home, and had called the police when he went out to smoke.
At around 1:40 a.m., police arrived there to find the victim dead. The man has been arrested and is expected to stand trial for murder after admitting to killing her over an argument.
The questions on their "slow response" were raised when a local news outlet Channel A released security footage showing the officers walking slowly with their hands in the pockets or behind their back.
Police said it took longer than expected to pin down the location because the victim's phone was off. They also admitted that it was "inappropriate for the officers to put their hands in their pocket or hold them behind their backs" while being dispatched on a "code 0."