News On Japan

Osaka Police Use Mirrors to Prevent Escalator Voyeurism

OSAKA, Jun 19 (News On Japan) - As temperatures rise and more skin is exposed, the incidence of voyeurism tends to increase. To combat this, the Osaka Prefectural Police have devised an innovative strategy using a simple yet effective tool -- mirrors.

At 1 a.m. in a commercial facility in Namba, Osaka, police officers were seen installing something on the escalators.

"This is a special tactic to prevent voyeurism," reported Tatsuya Izumi.

The item being installed? Mirrors.

In the sweltering heat, women often wear lighter clothing, making them potential targets for voyeurism. However, these mirrors have proven to be a powerful deterrent.

Psychologically, people tend to look into mirrors when they see them. By placing mirrors at angles that provide a clear view of the space behind, women on escalators become more aware of their surroundings, potentially deterring would-be offenders.

"By catching a glimpse of themselves in the mirror, women can unconsciously monitor their rear, making it less likely for offenders to act," explained Izumi. "The offender might feel they are being watched and abandon their attempt."

Since implementing this strategy in a commercial facility in Umeda last year, the number of women who appear more vigilant about their surroundings has tripled.

A woman who saw herself in one of these mirrors commented, "If I can see what's happening behind me, I can understand what people are doing, which is reassuring."

Kenichi Hirai, head of the Community Safety Division at the Minami Police Station, emphasized the importance of vigilance. "When ascending to the surface, it's crucial to occasionally glance back. Even while on the escalator, it’s essential to be aware of any suspicious individuals behind you."

Going forward, the Osaka Prefectural Police plan to expand the installation of mirrors to other busy stations and commercial facilities.


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