Lawmaker warns women about city’s worst ‘upskirting’ spots

Flickr/SpirosK photography
Flickr/SpirosK photography

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong is warning the women of Hong Kong about “upskirting” at popular sites around the city.

In a press conference on Sunday, Elizabeth Quat, chief of the DAB Women Affairs Committee, released a list of 17 spots where women are supposedly most vulnerable to people secretly taking photos or recording videos under their skirts.

The spots include the observation deck at Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, the Hong Kong International Airport, the Tsim Sha Tsui East and Kowloon MTR stations, and multiple shopping malls. All of them have reflective floors and/or escalators with transparent glass railings, which could allow someone from a lower floor to see up women’s skirts.

“Companies should put themselves into women’s shoes, and take responsibility to protect female customers,” Quat said on Sunday.

The results mark the eighth year in which the DAB has released the list. The pro-Beijing political party compiled it based on public complaints and on-site inspections.

But, as anyone who has spent any time in Hong Kong knows, the city is full of shopping malls with transparent or reflective surfaces, which also pose a potential risk for upskirting.

Some critics have also said that publicizing the spots does little to curb upskirting, and could in fact serve as a guide for perverts looking for the best places to peep up women’s skirts.

The MTR received 285 reports of upskirting last year, compared to 313 in 2016.

Quat — who, the Standard noted, is in favor of criminalizing all instances of visually recording another person without their consent in a way that violates their privacy — noted that Hong Kong does not currently expressly prohibit upskirting.

Instead, such actions could be subject to charges for loitering in public with criminal intent, or if recordings are uploaded online, accessing a computer with criminal intent.

In May, the Law Reform Commission’s Review of Sexual Offences Sub-committee proposed criminalizing taking photos or video of another person without their consent for sexual purposes.

In the same month, a former senior doctor with the Government Flying Service was sentenced to 180 hours of community service for taking five up-skirt clips of women at a Kowloon Tong shopping mall in 2016.

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