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Monday August 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday August 26, 2013 MYT 7:52:48 AM
A RECENT spate of cases involving men who filmed “upskirt videos” of women in public places prompted a judge to ask if this crime is on the rise.
The offence of using a variety of high-tech gadgets and cameras to shoot videos up unsuspecting women’s skirts is lumped under the law as “insulting a woman’s modesty”.
No detailed breakdown is available, but reports of insulting a woman’s modesty rose last year to 621, up from 598 in 2011 and 579 in 2010.
On Aug 14, District Judge Christopher Goh was hearing the case against Be Keng Hoon, 36, who was charged with taking 264 videos of different women’s underwear and thighs.
On the same day, former logistics officer Lim Kwang Yeow, 54, pleaded guilty to six charges of using his mobile phone to record upskirt videos in 2011.
Such cases first began making the news as far back as 2004, though they are turning up in court more frequently now.
Experts said a proliferation of affordable secret cameras has made it easier for perverts to go in search of their prey.
Aside from mobile phones, ever tinier and inconspicuous devices are now easily available.
Surveillance equipment store owner Mervyn Tan, 27, said spy cameras now come embedded in everything from watches to pens and cigarette lighters.
Perverts using these devices may think they can get away because their hidden cameras are hard to spot.
On Aug 6, former Land Transport Authority officer Kew Guozhi, 31, was jailed 15 months for taking at least 423 upskirt video recordings using a camera pen clipped to his shoe.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Ken Ung of Adam Road Medical Centre said men who engage in these secret crimes get sexual gratification from them. Factors that predispose some to such deviant acts may include growing up in a very repressive family environment.
“The thrill in such cases is having taken the video discreetly and the element of risk and stealth involved,” said Dr Ung.
He said he sees up to five patients a year addicted to such behaviour.
“Most of the patients I’ve treated are quite intelligent, and can’t say they didn’t know they had a problem,” he said.
“But it’s an addiction; just like gambling, they don’t want to stop.” — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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