Sinister Shutterbug

I was on the skytrain going downtown in the summer and an old dirty man sat beside me.  I ignored him until I saw his camera hidden in his lap pointed at a young girl sitting in her seat facing us.  When I saw the camera click and take a picture of her I started yelling at him saying “what are you doing! ?” We proceeded to have an argument about how he was a disgusting pig and then he ran off the train at the next stop; turning around and taking a picture of me before he fled.  I was furious but didn’t call the police because there is no law saying that you can’t take pictures of people when they’re out in the public.


4 thoughts on “Sinister Shutterbug

  1. Actually, this is covered under section 162 of the Criminal Code (Voyeurism), and is a dual offense with a punishment of up to 5 years in prison.

    • B,

      Unfortunately public transit is not considered “a place that give[s] rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy”. Therefore, though highly unnerving, the perpetrator was not breaking the law in this instance. One would have to prove in a court of law that these photos were taken for “a sexual purpose”. That would be nearly impossible in this particular situation. Had they been upskirt or down blouse like photos, proving their sexual purpose would be much easier.

      Having said this, I do not condone or encourage photographing strangers. I certainly am not trying to undermine your point, but I think it’s important to everyone that their rights according to the criminal code not be misinterpreted, and that people aren’t misrepresenting them on such an important and public platform.

      Again, I am in no way trying to be offensive or insensitive to victims or B. I’m just trying to ensure that people aren’t being misinformed.

      Quotes taken directly from:

      – E

      • Hi there,

        It actually does fall under Section 162 of the Criminal Code, as almost all photographs taken for a sexual purpose in a voyeuristic manner would. Link:

        I wish the police had been called, and I encourage everyone to call police – either non-emergency (for Transit Police this is at 604-515-8300) or 9-1-1 for something in progress, whenever a suspicious or criminal act takes place.

        Even when things are minor in nature, police would be interested in getting information on what happened to try and prevent further incidents. I always say – we can’t help if we don’t know what’s going on. Of course, that goes both ways and we have to be approachable.

        – Cst. Graham Walker (@CstGWalker)

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