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Staring is a Crime?

If your looking about at the other people on the London train, you face the possibility of being arrested.

If you are traveling by train and you look about at the other people, you face the possibility of being arrested for public indecency.

According to the senior police official who made the comment, the behavior of gazing at other passengers on the London Underground with the intent to sexually harass or assault them should be penalized. 

As expected this, was met by a lot of support from a lot of people. 

In her research on “public sexual harassment,” Dr. Fiona Vera-Gray of London Metropolitan University’s Child and Women Abuse Research Unit has shown that invasive gazing is a common occurrence. She says “It’s the feeling of always being on display, of being assessed and judged, and also of being dehumanized.

Also, according to one study, “it generates a type of physical self-consciousness, where women have commented about suddenly becoming tremendously aware of how they are sitting, what their face is doing, how their hands are, how they are walking.”

Bex also argues that “between someone who is people-watching and somebody gazing and staring at you,” there is a significant distinction.

But that’s not all. “We’ve all been caught admiring someone’s shoes or attire,” says Jamie Klingler of Reclaim These Streets. “But it is the act of gazing with intent, which makes a victim want to modify their behavior, that the posters are attempting to confront.”

Dr. Afroditi Pina of the University of Kent also argues that the knowledge that staring “may generate such profound dread and fear” should be enough to make people who like to observe others refrain from doing so.

And so after a man who participated in similar activities was sentenced to jail a month ago, the senior officer made the statement in response to that event.

This month, on January 1st, Transport for London (TfL) kicked up a campaign with the intention of lowering the number of incidences of sexual harassment that women and young girls are subjected to. This type of harassment can present itself in a multitude of different ways. Some instances of its manifestations include staring, catcalling, upskirting, and other behaviors. 

On one of the posters that were circulated during the length of the campaign, the following message was printed: “Introductory gazing of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment and will not be permitted.”

In a statement that was disseminated at the beginning of the campaign, Transport for London (TfL) emphasized that sexual harassment is a form of violence and that it is most commonly directed against women and girls in public places. As a kind of violence, sexual harassment should not be tolerated. 

This new campaign is one component of TfL’s commitment to ensuring that everyone is able to travel with confidence.

The effort attempts to counteract the normalcy of this conduct and dismiss it as ‘something that occurs’ to women and girls while they are traveling on public transit and in other public spaces. Specifically, the target audience for this ad is women and girls. The numerous modes of public transit will receive unwavering focus in the advertisement that will be running. The purpose of making it abundantly clear that behavior of this nature can under no circumstances be tolerated, and that the most severe punishment available will always be applied.

In addition to this, a senior investigator who works for the British Transport Police (BTP) has, in recent times, made a plea to members of the general public to report incidents of this kind. 

During the course of an interview with The Telegraph, a high-ranking member of the British Transport Police named Detective Superintendent Sarah White made the statement that “it is in our nature as humans to focus on things. On the other hand, things take an entirely new and unexpected turn when someone is staring at you intently, leering at you, or has sexual intentions toward you. You shouldn’t put yourself in harm’s way in any of these situations; use great care instead.”

She also added that “We are curious to learn more about that staring because, in my opinion, it is the behavior that most clearly signals that the person doing the looking is considering taking part in a sexual activity that supports that staring. As a result, we are interested in knowing more about that behavior. And of course, we will register them as crimes, and we will analyze them.” 

However, some raise some concerns. Such as: How will this be identified? In what ways will it be enforced? Will others who witnessed the evil-eye-balling while on the train be asked to testify? What about those whose minds are miles away on a beach, but whose eyes have been focused on a random stranger?

But some say uncomfortable looks are always potent because they allow the person staring at you the ability to make you feel like a victim, regardless of the motive behind the staring.

Just recently, a guy was given a sentence of 22 weeks in jail by a judge a month earlier after a lady accused him of “continuously gazing” at her when the two of them were on the train from Reading. 

Dominik Bullock, 26, continued to stand in the line with the woman as she tried to exit the building. He had been warned by the lady not to stare at her, but he rejected her admonition and continued to do so anyhow. After spending his time in prison, Bullock was granted supervised parole so that he could continue his reintegration into society while being closely monitored. This would ensure that he did not re-offend while on parole.

A member of the jury came to the conclusion that Bullock was responsible for intentionally upsetting, frightening, or otherwise distressing another person.

In addition, DS White asserted that undercover police operatives ride trains in order to catch offenders in the act of committing a crime while they are on the move. This topic was discussed within the framework of apprehending offenders while they were in the midst of committing a crime. This was done with the intention of catching criminals in the act of committing a crime, and it was effective in attaining that goal. 

She proceeded by making the point that while you are riding the train, you can never be sure who is standing or sitting next to you since at any minute it may be a law enforcement officer. She said that this is why it is important to always be aware of your surroundings. As this was something that she brought up as she began her remarks, “As this is the advice that I will provide to you, you should always proceed on the basis of the assumption that the worst possible event will come to pass.”

In fact, a professor of psychology at the University of Sydney, Colin Clifford, told Healthline, “Direct gaze may convey dominance or a danger, and if you interpret anything as a threat, you would not want to miss it.”

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Written by Annieth

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