Staring at women for long can land you in jail, warns UK police
Amid “unhealthy sexual behaviour” incidents being reported in London Underground, a top police officer has called for stringent actions against those indulging in “intense staring”.
Det Supt Sarah White, a senior British Transport Police (BTP) officer, has issued a warning to suspects whose stare “show behaviours that are unhealthy”.
“It’s human nature to stare at things. However, it’s very different when someone is staring, leering, or there’s a sexual motivation,” DS White told The Telegraph.
“We want to know about that staring because that is the behaviour that suggests to me that someone is thinking about a sexual behaviour that supports that staring.”
The detective warned that such crimes would be recorded, adding “We have had successful prosecutions in that field.”
The top detective’s comments came in response to a campaign that was launched last month by the Transport for London to raise awareness on “common examples” of harassment, including upskirting, cat calling and exposing among others, the Daily Mail reported.
As part of the initiative, posters were installed on trains, saying, “Intrusive staring of a sexual nature is sexual harassment and is not tolerated.”
However, the campaign was severely criticised for including staring.
Reports of sexual harassment have spiked by 175 per cent in Brittan’s transport network since the end of Covid lockdown, The Telegraph reported citing data from Office for National Statistics (ONS).
From 2020-2021 march, 995 reports of sexual offences were recorded in the Tube compared to 361 cases in the financial year ending March 2019.