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Seoul distributes guidelines on spycam crimes

The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Monday distributed guidelines on how to respond to spycam crimes for victims and law enforcement officers, amid a growing epidemic of spycam porn in the country. 


Divided into two parts -- for civilians and police officers -- the handbook was designed to raise awareness of what constitutes secondary damage to victims of spycam porn and how police officers and victims can handle such cases, according to the Seoul city government.

For example, the guidelines recommend that victims secure evidence -- such as a hidden camera -- if possible and remember the perpetrator’s appearance. If illegally filmed videos have already been distributed, the advice is to copy the links and obtain screenshots. Then the victims should report the situation to the police and ask the website or social media companies to remove the videos, the handbook says. 

The guidelines also outline the problems of spycam crime and gender-based violence, explaining the difficulties victims face as well as the kinds of assistance available to victims.

The city of Seoul’s move comes amid mounting concerns over an epidemic of spycam videos. Perpetrators use tiny devices to film women in public places, such as schools, toilets and changing rooms, and later share them online.

Thousands of women protested in Seoul last year on several occasions against the spycam crimes.

The number of spycam cases jumped to 6,470 in 2017 from about 1,353 in 2011, according to police statistics. Only 2 percent of cases led to an arrest, and in 65 percent perpetrators went free without being indicted.

“Seoul city will make utmost efforts to root out illegal filming by supporting financial expenses for victims’ lawsuits, their psychological treatment and developing education material to raise awareness,” said Kim Soon-hee, director at Women’s Rights Division at the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

The guidelines can be downloaded on the websites of Seoul city and the Seoul Foundation of Women and Family. The handbooks are also to be distributed at local community centers.