Police probing Peeping Tom case in NTU

A Peeping Tom case in a male toilet at a hall of residence in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has surfaced, amid a robust debate on how sexual misconduct cases in universities should be handled.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the police said they received a 999 call for assistance at 1.11pm on Sunday, with the caller alleging that a man had taken photographs of another man in a shower at the hall's toilet.

A 19-year-old man, who is not a resident of the hall, is being investigated for criminal trespass under Section 447 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, the police added.

An NTU spokesman said the man in question "is neither a student nor an employee of NTU". He added that several students helped to detain the man, and also said that creating a safe campus environment is a top priority.

"NTU believes in building a culture of mutual support where students are encouraged to watch out for one another," he said.

Surveillance cameras cover most of the common areas in the halls of residence and campus security patrols the halls regularly, he added.

ST understands that the incident took place in NTU's Hall 3. It comes even as the National University of Singapore (NUS) is being criticised by the public and students for its handling of a recent sexual misconduct case. It came to light after Ms Monica Baey, 23, a third-year NUS communications and new media undergraduate, shared on Instagram last week that she was filmed while showering at Eusoff Hall of residence last November.

 

On Monday, NUS revealed how it handles sexual misconduct cases, laying out a "two strikes and you're out" policy, in which a student found guilty of sexual misconduct a second time will be expelled.

NUS has since said that it will review the policy, which has been criticised widely by the public and undergraduates.

Meanwhile, some NTU halls of residence, including Hall 16, which is sited near Hall 3, have sent circulars to residents to inform them that the men's toilets would be accessible only by using their hall key fobs, or electronic keys.

Previously, only the women's toilets required fob access, said Hall 16 president Wilson Toh, 22, who added that while stepping up security measures at the men's toilets was a "good initiative, it's not much of a deterrence".

The second-year electrical engineering student added: "People would be able to enter the toilet regardless of whether fob access is required if they are already able to enter the hall. In the end, we would know only that the perpetrator had fob access. There is no record to show who... entered the toilet."

A better deterrent would be to install cameras along the walkway leading to the toilets, he suggested.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2019, with the headline 'Police probing Peeping Tom case in NTU'. Print Edition | Subscribe