While Jeju is certified by the World Health Organization as a safe community, many Jeju residents have reported that they continue to feel less safe, according to a Statistics Korea survey conducted in May on 1,190 Jeju residents.
According to the survey, 30.1 percent of residents said they felt “insecure” toward their society, more than twice as many as those who felt “secure” (14.2 percent). Of the reasons given for the insecurity, the greatest concern was “crime” (56.9 percent), followed by “new infectious disease” (49.5 percent), “traffic accident,” (45.5 percent), “national security” (44.4 percent), “information security” (38.9 percent), and “natural disaster” (34.5 percent).
Residents also expressed their skepticism on the progress of their social security. Forty-seven percent of the respondents claimed that social security has “worsened” over the last five years — three times the number (13.1 percent) of those who believe it has improved. Many of these respondents also believed that the security conditions will decline in the future.
Given that Jeju proclaims itself to be the “Jeju Safe Community,” these findings by Statistics Korea contradicts the belief of the provincial bureaucracy. Jeju will have to keep in mind that among the many objectives that it has pronounced to achieve — be it becoming a free international city, special self-governing province, or World Natural Heritage site — none can be delivered without the premise of safety.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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