SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, June 13, 2019 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it will implement pilot “Safe Singles Zone” (SS Zone) program in Gwanak-gu and Yangcheon-gu neighborhoods in order to create a safe living environment for households where women live alone and shops where women work alone.
Since the two neighborhoods provide convenient transportation and various types of housing such as one-room studios and multi-household houses, there are relatively many women who live or work alone there.
Given that situation, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will carry out this program by priority in semi-basement rooms, one-room studio buildings and remote and isolated areas where have a lack of safety facilities, such as CCTV.
For the safety of the women living and working alone in the SS Zone, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will install or provide the following four safety devices upon the application:
· Digital Video Window: It allows women to instantly see a visitor from inside the house. When the visitor presses the doorbell, he or she is appeared and captured on the digital video window.
· Door Open Sensor: It sounds a siren alarm and sends text messages to registered acquaintances when a door or window is forcibly opened from outside in the absence or at dawn.
· Front Door Double Locks: It prevents the door from opening even if the digital number lock is opened.
· Double lockable safety device in addition to door lock
· Portable Emergency Bell: It sounds a siren alarm and automatically sends an emergency message to 112, Korea’s emergency number to report a crime, as well as to families or friends, when ones feel someone following them, or in an emergency.
The women who are living alone and want those devices to be installed at their houses may apply to the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Up to 250 woman-only living households (150 in Gwanak-gu and 100 in Yangcheon-gu) will be beneficiaries.
In addition, the city government will provide wireless emergency bells to shops where a woman works alone, which can be used in dangerous situations. Once the bell is pressed, it allows to make three-way phone calls to the CCTV control center and the district office as well as the police station so that they instantly check out CCTV footage to identify the route of the intruder, and above all, the police can be immediately dispatched to the scene in case of emergency. The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to designate a total of 50 places, respectively 25 each in Gwanak-gu and Yangcheon-gu, to install the wireless emergency bells.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has been pushing for the “Making Seoul a Safer City for Women Project” since 2013 in an effort to create an environment where women can live safely. Its main programs are as follows:
· Women Safety App: This mobile application allows to send an emergency call alarm once one downloads the application on his/her smartphone and shake it. Around 30,000 people have downloaded this application in just six months after the launch. (November 2018 to June 2019)
· Safe-Return-Home Program: Through this nighttime escort program for women, “safety scouts” accompany women all the way to their home at late night upon their request 30 minutes before arriving at the subway station or bus stop. Currently, there are a total of 452 people working as scouts throughout the city, and they provided 341,162 times of the nighttime escort service in 2018 alone. When any emergency situation is reported on the Women Safety App, security officials are dispatched immediately.
· Women-friendly Delivery Lockers: Aimed at preventing any crime committed by a fake delivery person, women-friendly delivery lockers have been installed in a total of 210 places. From June 2013 to April 2019, the total accumulated number of the use of these lockers reached 1,969,155.