Safety and Security in Seoul

South Korea’s capital city of Seoul is very safe to live in and visit. CCTV (Closed-circuit television)/security cameras are everywhere. These security cameras line the streets, the inside and outside of buildings, karaoke rooms, restaurants, subway trains and stations, buses, and even inside elevators. I have never seen a security camera inside an elevator in America. I have only ever seen them in elevators in movies, so it was a bit of a surprise to see them in elevators for the first time. The city of Seoul feels very safe. Even at night it feels comfortable to walk most anywhere alone without any worries. It is of course smart to stay aware of one’s surroundings, but overall Seoul and its citizens feel very friendly and secure. With so many security cameras, crime seems to be at an all time low. The cameras most likely help people to think twice and deter them from committing crimes as they will most likely be on camera if they do. It was surprising to people’s bikes on the street not locked up to anything. No one is afraid of their bikes being stolen because the chances of someone stealing a bike seem to be pretty low. It was a culture shock to see people leave their belongings (laptop, bag, etc.) unattended in a cafe. People will just leave their belongings sitting their while they get up to going do something. Koreans seem very trusting and unworried about their things being stolen. It took me awhile to get used to it, but I too was able to get used to leaving my things at my seat in a cafe unattended for a few minutes. Another thing to note is that the home and apartments here do not use the traditional lock and key system that I feel most of the world is familiar with. Instead, there is a keypad lock that you use a specialized code to unlock and enter your home. This is similar to how you have a passcode you enter to unlock your phone. It is fascinating to see different culture characteristics and practices. This feeling of safety and comfort does not just apply to Seoul’s citizens. I as a foreigner feel this sense of safety as well. It is a great feeling to know the people living around you will do the right thing. Good manners and ethics go a long way and I very much appreciate the way the people of Seoul make the city feel safe.

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