It’s close to summer and girls who are fond of wearing skimpy skirts should watch out because the number of cases involving peeping toms prowling within the MTR stations is on the rise. The bad news is that in 2007 there were 88 cases of men taking photos and that has risen to 117 last year. The good news is that 90 per cent of reported cases (104) last year were solved as the peeping tom culprits were nabbed.

Those caught in the act were done by males aged 13 to 35 and varied from students to teachers to bankers. So just because the man you see in the train wears the most decent office attire imaginable in Hong Kong does not mean he couldn’t be a perv. In fact, he could just be using the attire to disguise himself from his true color. Some of them are even proud to post their work at Flickr.

Crimes often happen on escalators, in which each of the MTR’s 82 stations are equipped with 10 to 15 of them.

Now, how do we minimize or eliminate these cases?

I think there may be several radical solutions like bar women who wear skimpy clothing inside the railway stations, tell schools to revise their uniforms, avoid using cameras in the trains or stiffer penalties for those caught in the act. The last item may be tough especially because of Hong Kong’s easy access to latest gears and gadgets like the thumb-sized video camera recently released.

Or maybe: gather all photos of offenders, create a gallery of these photos, conceal identity of victims and prominently place the name of the photographer.

Mine is simple: The MTR advise girls and women to dress more decently to avoid being the victims. Decency could be subjective but you know what I mean. It’s their call.

This crime, in which suspects can be charged with loitering, disorder in a public place, or outraging public decency, carries jail time from 2 weeks to 4 months.

However, this is not the only concern for MTR personnel. Other violations also occur such as passengers leaping over the turnstiles. Such cases are mostly observed in stations near the border with Shenzhen such as Lo Wu, Sheung Shui, Fan Ling and Lok Ma Chau stations.

Now, how do we minimize or eliminate occurrence of such fare dodgers?

Bring the Fare Saver discount machines closer to the MTR stations.

Or put higher barriers (no need to equip them with barb wires or electric shocks). One who leaps successfully will be jailed for a day, then proceed to the training grounds of Hong Kong athletic team and join the tryouts for Hong Kong high jump team for the East Asian Games.

Photo credit: cattoo