The International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes (ICCS) is a classification of criminal offences which is based on internationally agreed concepts, definitions and principles in order to enhance the consistency and international comparability of crime statistics, and improve analytical capabilities at both the national and international levels. The ICCS was approved at the 46th session of the United Nations Statistical Commission held in March 2015, and the 24th session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice held in May of the same year, which means now Korea is required to establish implementation plans for the ICCS. A number of institutions are involved in producing crime statistics in Korea, and the classification systems employed by those institutions vary depending on their disparate needs. In this context, considering the adoption of the ICCS may provide opportunities to review and evaluate the crime statistics/classification systems in Korea. The purpose of this study is to conduct a framework research for the development of a Korean system for crime classification based on the ICCS. To this end, this Study considers whether the ICCS is suited to the characteristics of the classification and statistics of crimes in Korea, and if not, what the possible issues are for the adoption of the ICCS in Korea. The findings will inform the development of a long-term roadmap for the classification and statistics of crime in Korea. This Study was conducted as a part of the Framework Research Task Force for the Development of the Korean Classification of Crime project, a joint efforts by Statistics Korea, Police Science Institute, and the Korea Institute of Criminology. The significance of this Study lies in contributing to the development of Korea’s own crime classification system through framework research efforts aimed at the implementation of the ICCS.
The key points of this Study are as follows. First, this Study involves the development of an official Korean translation of the ICCS text. The translated version will use lay terms rather than legal jargons in describing each crime, as a reflection of the action-based characteristic of the ICCS. Second, Secondly, the Study re-classifies the crime codes of the Korea Crime Statistics and Classification and match them with the ICCS, so as to determine their fit with the latter and derive possible issues with the application of the ICCS. Thirdly, this Study looks into why some of the crimes under the Korean law do not match the ICCS, identifies regularities, and estimates the applicability of the ICCS in Korea. Based on the findings, this Study finally proposes possible issues and challenges for the development of the Korean Classification of Crime.