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“Unworkable” to tackle voyeur crimes by regulating sale of spy & hidden cameras, says K Shanmugam

The government will focus instead on toughening the law.

Sulaiman Daud | November 21, 2018 @ 09:50 pm

With new technology comes new crimes, like the rise in peeping tom cases and other voyeuristic spy and hidden-camera cases in recent years:

Woman catches man allegedly taking upskirt shots of her in Simei, suspects it’s same man jailed for upskirt shots in 2017

Man allegedly caught red-handed taking upskirt video at Bishan MRT station

21-year-old man at SIM arrested for alleged peeping tom activity, & not for the first time

4 sneaky ways perverts upskirt their victims and how to foil their plans

In response to this disturbing trend, Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh asked in Parliament if there was a need to regulate the sale and use of spy or hidden cameras.

“Unworkable” to ban spy/hidden cameras as mobile phone cameras can also be concealed: K Shanmugam

In a written reply on Nov. 19, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said the authorities take these kinds of offences seriously, but banning spy or hidden cameras altogether is “unworkable”.

Said Minister Shanmugam:

“It is quite unworkable to try and deal with the problem by banning spy cameras and hidden cameras. Mobile phones also come with cameras, and they can also be concealed to take secret photos or videos.”

Instead, he says, the government’s comprehensive review of the Penal Code, the first since 2007, will specifically look at tackling the rise in voyeuristic crimes.

The proposed changes include introducing new offences relating to the making, distribution, possession, and accessing of voyeuristic recordings.

People found guilty of the above will be liable to imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine, or both, and caning.

Voyeur crimes to have stronger punishments

These proposed punishments are more severe than under current laws.

Presently, those found guilty of using spy or hidden cameras to insult someone’s modesty are liable to imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine, or both.

The Penal Code is likely to be amended early next year. Said Minister Shanmugam:

“We will increase the penalties and add new offences to try and deter the commission of such acts.”

One of its areas of focus is tackling the rise of new crime trends, like voyeurism and other predatory offences.

According to Channel NewsAsia, an average of 100 up-skirt crimes have been filed by the Police every year since 2013.

On average, there have been 500 cases of insult of modesty every year since 2015.

Related story:

S’pore proposing to decriminalise attempted suicide, create new ‘voyeurism’ crime category

Top image adapted from @mattseymour from Unsplash.

About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve, although he is falling in love with Jodie Whittaker's Thirteen. He also writes about film and pop-culture, which you are very welcome to read here.

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