Women, watch your step: Apple store, Legco and courts identified in new 'up-skirt blackspot' list

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 July, 2014, 2:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 July, 2014, 7:29am

Law courts, the government headquarters and the Legislative Council are among 19 newly identified locations where women wearing skirts can be exposed to peeping Toms, a political party has warned.

The locations were listed in the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong's sixth annual report on "upskirt black spots".

Most of the locations feature long glass walls and glass panels lining escalators.

Women standing near these structures can have their underskirts easily seen by people underneath, who may take photos of them and share the images online, according to DAB lawmaker Elizabeth Quat and her team.

"The government should take the lead in drawing up guidelines on building designs," she said yesterday.

During a recent filibuster at Legco in Admiralty, Quat said she noticed that members of the public, especially schoolgirls, who were observing the meeting from a corridor above the chamber, risked exposing themselves to people inside the chamber.

Transparent panels on the first floors of the Tamar government headquarters building and the Tuen Mun and Fanling courts also put skirt-wearers at risk.

But fellow lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan, of the Labour Party, said peeping Toms were the root of the problem, not the architects who designed the buildings nor the women who chose to wear skirts.

In the past six years, the DAB has singled out a total of 80 black spots, in shopping centres, schools and MTR stations.

Some have since applied frosted film on the panels or made other adjustments.

Quat yesterday showed pictures of the inside of the Tuen Mun and Fanling courts to illustrate her concerns.

When asked if she was afraid she could be in contempt of court for taking photos inside the court buildings, she said the pictures were provided by the public. She stressed she did not mean to show disrespect for the court.

She also admitted that two pictures displayed of the PMQ shopping mall were from the Oriental Press Group. But she said a colleague did not know where those pictures were from at first.

She said she had already apologised to the group.

Quat said the peeping-Tom trend had worsened, with 329 cases of indecent photo-taking reported to the police last year, up from 282 in 2012.

Ho suggested the city should consider tougher penalties.