Police have decided not to prosecute or even sack a police officer who took upskirt photographs of 24 policewomen and 14 women using his smartphone concealed in forensics footwear, ruling that neither crime scenes, police interrogations, or police stations constitute “public spaces” for the purposes of anti-voyeurism laws.
A 35-year-old Kagawa prefecture police officer was arrested for taking indecent pictures of 5 women at 4 homes and offices he was dispatched to, which he admitted to with the excuse that he “did it to satisfy my sexual urges.”
After his arrest, searches of his PC turned up not only photos from the scene but also compromising photographs of 24 policewomen taken at police facilities and a further 14 women snapped during his off hours at a supermarket.
He had in fact turned himself into a one man surveillance operation, secreting a smartphone camera in the cover he wore over his sandals to avoid “forensic contamination” and using it to obtain upskirt imagery of the unsuspecting suspects, colleagues and members of the public he came into contact with during the course of his duties.
Despite his confession, the more lurid aspects of the case and the incredible abuse of police powers entailed, all charges against him were dropped and he was instead suspended for 3 months, after which he opted to take voluntary retirement rather than return to duty as an upstanding officer.
Police also dropped a further 14 charges of voyeurism against him on the basis that as the offending photographs were taken at “crime scenes and police facilities” they did not fall under the scope of the “public spaces” in which upskirtism is banned, now handily defined as anywhere police are not conducting official business.
Some prefectures have seen recent efforts to tighten up their typically sloppily worded anti-voyeurism ordinances to more thoroughly outlaw such antics in “public” private spaces – though somehow it might seem doubtful that police will be troubled to enforce the laws on their own questioning.
Online there is the useful embarrassment at how Japan’s police and courts conduct themselves with respect to their own:
“This was the perfect crime – it wasn’t even a crime!”
“So you are innocent of upskirts if it is not a public place? How fascinating.”
“God. They didn’t even fire the guy for doing all that.”
“So you can peep all you want in police stations? Good to know.”
“How absurdly rotten are our police. They not only let him retire voluntarily after a spree of sex crimes, they give him a nice severance package too I bet.”
“Why don’t they just come out and say all the police, civil servants and teachers are innocent because that is what they are.”
“Amazing that these cops are so interested in protecting these types really. Much easier to give them the boot.”
“Our state yakuza at it again. Shame they don’t take punishments as seriously as the real thing.”
“Does anyone recall all the cops in the same prefecture busting people for having orgies in private residences because it was ‘public indecency’?”
“Just how messed up can our cops get!?”