The National Police Agency reported Thursday that police gave correctional guidance nationwide to a total of 220 minors younger than 18 who tried to provide sex for money or sell their used underwear online from January to June this year.
About 60 per cent of the total, or 124, had never been held nor given correctional guidance by police. An NPA officer said: "Many of them post messages using smartphones to earn some money without thinking seriously."
Known as "cyber correctional guidance," the NPA differentiates the measure from typical street guidance. Cyber correctional guidance addresses attempts mainly by girls under 18 to provide sex for money and sell used underwear online.
The procedure typically involves an undercover police officer pretending to be a customer who contacts girls with problematic posts, meets them in person and reveals his police identity. They are given a verbal warning and the misconduct is reported to their parents.
The agency instructed prefectural police headquarters nationwide to carry out cyber correctional guidance last October to prevent minors from becoming victims of sexual crime.
Since more and more minors are attempting to find men willing to pay for sex through the Internet, the NPA reasoned that sexual crimes against minors could not be prevented using their conventional approach of giving guidance to minors found soliciting in busy commercial areas.