Newspaper article The Canadian Press

As Temperatures Get Warmer, More Cases of Voyeurism Are Reported: Police

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

As Temperatures Get Warmer, More Cases of Voyeurism Are Reported: Police

Article excerpt

Technology, weather increase voyeurism: cops

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TORONTO - As the temperatures outside get warmer, police say the reported number of cases of voyeurism tend to rise.

Domenic Sinopoli, an inspector with the Toronto police sex crimes unit, says around 60 per cent of all voyeurism cases are reported during the summer.

He says it's reasonable to assume that's because people are wearing less clothing and are outside more often.

Voyeurism is defined in the Criminal Code as surreptitious observation or recording of someone who is in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy.

It's a crime that can come with a prison term of up to five years.

Police say the number of instances where someone is being recorded or photographed inappropriately are growing -- and so is the market for such content.

Last month, a 29-year-old man was charged after he allegedly used his cellphone to take so-called "upskirt" photos of women inside a grocery store in Toronto's west end, and in May a camera was found in a Starbucks bathroom in the city's financial district, police said.

Google returns more than six-million results when searching "upskirt pictures". The first results lead to online pornography, while others are companies selling gadgets to help take "pictures discreetly from smartphone."

"There is a market for everything and anything online, especially pornography," said Jordan Donich, a defence lawyer based in Toronto.

"Smartphones have made it easier to commit the offence. Ten or 15 years ago, it wouldn't happen as much because you didn't have the technology," said Donich.

However, he believes sharing the content online is not the primary reason for offenders to take pictures or record people without their consent.

"They are doing it because they like it, because they want to do it, and the fact that there is a market for it is a by-product," he said. …

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