Police said Wednesday that over 9,000 sex offenders have never been caught remain at large.
A report showed that 81,860 rapes and other sex crimes were reported between 2007 and 2011 and that the perpetrators of 9,574 remain at large. The figure includes 385 child rapists and molesters.
The number of unsolved cases was 1,323 for 2007, but jumped to 3,233 in 2011.
The report comes amid calls for a crackdown on sex crimes following the recent series of heinous offenses.
Last Friday, a seven-year-old girl was kidnapped and raped by a 23-year-old man in Naju, South Jeolla Province, and was left to die under a bridge. The girl was rescued the following day and is hospitalized but the incident shocked the nation.
Last month, a series of sex crimes occurred across the country. A housewife in her 30s was killed by a 42 year-old rapist Seo Jin-hwan on Aug. 20 in eastern Seoul for resisting his attempt to rape her. Nine days later in Seoul, another man in his 40s was caught trying to rape a 40-year-old housewife using the same method Seo did, by breaking into the house.
In Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, a college student was raped by two of her male colleagues on Aug. 28 and left to die; while in Busan, Tuesday, a man in his 30s was sentenced to seven years in prison for raping his 15-year-old daughter.
In response to the increase in sex crimes, the government is strengthening police powers.
Pyo Chang-won, a professor at the Korean National Police University, said in a recent media interview that the police lack personnel.
“There are fewer arrests by the police due to the lack of officers despite the increase in sex crime reports. Victims are now becoming more open about their painful experience due to the social atmosphere encouraging them to report the attacks,” said Pyo. “But we need to provide the police with more manpower.”