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MRT commuter glued to her phone doesn’t realise old man is stroking her thigh until 30 minutes later

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A 55-year-old man pleaded guilty to one charge of outrage of modesty, after he was arrested for molesting a 36-year-old woman on board public transport.

According to the Chinese daily, the culprit Xie Tian Chen committed the offence on board an MRT train moving towards Tanah Merah station on 27 Jun this year around 11.30pm.

Xie found a seat beside the woman who would become his victim on the train. He held a newspaper across his lap and pretended to read but surreptitiously began stroking the victim’s thigh over her skirt.

Court documents reveal that the victim, a manager, was so engrossed in reading an article on her phone that she did not notice that Xie had been caressing her thigh for 20-30 minutes.

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This emboldened Xie who reported that he felt that the victim’s dressing and actions were very “sexy.”

Xie only withdrew when the victim finally realised what was happening and looked down.

He was sentenced to two weeks jail on Friday (25 Nov).

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has reported a marked spike in outrage of modesty cases on board public transport recently:

“Between January and September 2017, there were 1,168 reported cases of Outrage of Modesty, an increase of 194 cases (or 19.9%) compared to the same period last year. 152 of these cases were reported on public transport, while 76 of these cases were reported at public entertainment outlets, an increase of 50 cases (or 49.0%) and 15 cases (or 24.6%) respectively, compared to the same period last year.”

The Force asserted last month that it is working on instating additional security measures to prevent Outrage of Modesty cases:

“Patrols are conducted in public transport areas by officers from the Public Transport Security Command to project Police presence and deter Outrage of Modesty cases. In addition, the Police also actively disseminate crime prevention advice to commuters and these are done through posters, videos and crime prevention roadshows in areas such as trains, train stations and bus interchanges.”

SPF also advised members of the public to take the following precautions to prevent crime:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert to any suspicious person(s).
  • Avoid walking through dimly-lit and secluded places or taking the lift with a stranger.
  • Have someone escort you home when returning alone late at night.
  • Carry along with you a shrill alarm.

When taking public transport, SPF advises members of the public to be alert and attentive to their surroundings and move away if someone comes exceptionally close. It added:

“If you are molested, seek help immediately from those around you. Take note of the prominent features and attire of the suspect as well as the direction in which he or she went. Call ‘999’ as soon as possible to increase the chances of apprehending the suspect early. If it is safe to do so, the victim or other witnesses of the crime may assist to detain the suspect while waiting for the Police to arrive.”

 

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