Crime Of Voyeurism In Singapore

by 30 August 2023Knowledge & Insights

In recent years, the city-state of Singapore has experienced an upswing in certain forms of crime that present unique challenges to law enforcement and society at large.

A particular category of sexual offence, voyeurism in Singapore, has become increasingly common, and a pressing topic of discussion. Voyeurism is defined as spying on others without their consent; this crime poses significant threats to privacy and safety.

1. Evolution Of The Crime Of Voyeurism  In Singapore

Understanding the prevalence of voyeurism in Singapore requires us to examine the phenomenon’s evolution. Historically, voyeurism has been tied to ‘Peeping Tom’ behaviours, often involving spying on individuals in personal situations without their knowledge or consent.

However, the rise of technology has broadened the landscape of voyeurism. Nowadays, voyeuristic acts extend beyond physically peering into someone’s private space. The unlawful act can include filming, photographing, or recording individuals in compromising positions, often disseminating these images online.

The pervasiveness of voyeurism in Singapore has led to increased attention from the authorities. The Singaporean legal framework has seen revisions to more strictly penalise such offences relating to invasions of privacy, illustrating the seriousness of the issue.

2. The Sanctions For Voyeurism In Singapore

In Singapore, this offence is taken seriously by the legal system. Severe sanctions have been established for those found guilty of committing voyeurism. These penalties aim to reflect the gravity of the offences committed and the impact it can have on the victims. The sanctions can be broadly divided into three categories: imprisonment, fines, and corporal punishment.

Under Section 377BB of Singapore’s Penal Code, a person found guilty of voyeurism can face up to two years imprisonment, a fine, caning, or any combination of these punishments. The severity of the sentence depends on various factors, including the offence’s circumstances, the victim’s age, and whether the offender has any prior convictions.

The penalties can be even more stringent when the crime involves distribution, such as sharing explicit images or videos without the victim’s consent. The law aims not only to punish the initial act of voyeurism but also to deter the further spread of such materials, which can cause continued distress to the victims.

3. Activities Considered As Voyeurism In Singapore

Voyeurism involves various activities, all of which violate an individual’s privacy without consent. Here’s a more detailed look at activities considered voyeurism under Singapore law:

Peeping Or Spying

This traditional voyeurism involves secretly watching someone undress, bathe, or engage in private acts. Perpetrators might use vantage points such as windows or door cracks or use mirrors and other tools to facilitate their invasion of privacy.

Secretly Recording

In the digital age, voyeurism has taken a technological turn. Secretly recording involves using cameras, mobile phones or other devices to capture images or videos of individuals in private scenarios. These devices can be hidden in everyday objects or discreetly handled to avoid detection.

Dissemination Of Intimate Images

Sometimes called ‘revenge porn’, this voyeurism involves sharing personal images or videos without the subject’s permission. This could include instances where a once-consensual image is shared beyond its intended recipient or where images are shared as a form of blackmail or harassment.


A specific form of a secret recording; upskirting involves covertly filming or photographing up a person’s skirt or down their top. This invasion of privacy can occur in public spaces, often perpetrated using concealed cameras or mobile phones.

4. Factors Considered By Singapore Courts In Voyeurism Cases

When adjudicating voyeurism cases, Singapore Courts examine several aggravating and mitigating factors to determine appropriate penalties. They include:

The Severity Of The Offence

The Courts assess the nature of the act and its impact on the victim. Factors such as the duration of the voyeuristic behaviour, the degree of violation, and the explicitness of any voyeuristic images such as child abuse material are all considered.

Repeat Offences

The accused’s criminal record plays a significant role in sentencing. Repeat offenders are often met with more stringent penalties to deter recidivism. This is why a proper investigation is necessary to see if the offender is guilty of possessing obscene films, intimate images or recordings of similar materials.

Age Of The Victim

Cases involving minors are particularly egregious and typically result in harsher penalties, reflecting society’s demand for the protection of the young.

Distribution Of Illicit Materials

When voyeurism extends to sharing the acquired material, the crime is considered more serious. It further violates the victim’s privacy and can result in additional trauma.

5. What To Do If Accused Of Voyeurism In Singapore

If you have been accused of voyeurism in Singapore, it’s a serious matter that requires immediate attention. The following steps should be taken:

Engage Legal Assistance

Promptly consult a criminal lawyer in Singapore to understand your rights, potential charges and legal avenues available. This is paramount in developing an effective defence strategy.

Cooperate With Investigations

Show cooperation with law enforcement officials conducting the investigation. However, only answer questions or provide statements with your lawyer present.

Preserve Evidence

If you believe you are wrongfully accused, retain any potential evidence supporting your claim. This could include messages, witnesses, or surveillance footage indicating your whereabouts during the alleged offence.

6. Steps To Take If You Suspect You’re A Victim Of Voyeurism

If you believe you’ve fallen victim to voyeurism, it’s crucial to act swiftly and take the following steps:

Report To The Police

Notify the Singapore Police Force immediately. They will guide you through the process and commence investigations.

Preserve Evidence

Secure any evidence of the voyeuristic act if safe to do so. This could be a video, photo, or other proof such as an eyewitness or physical evidence (like a hidden camera).

Seek Counselling And Support

Being a victim of voyeurism can be traumatic and distressing. Reach out to professional counselling services, like those offered by Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) or AWARE Singapore, to help cope with the emotional aftermath.

Protect Your Privacy

Ensure you tighten your privacy following an incident. This could involve changing locks, updating online passwords, adjusting social media settings, or even seeking a protection order if you know who the perpetrator is.

7. Understanding The Impact Of Voyeurism

The invasion of privacy inherent in voyeurism crimes has far-reaching psychological impacts on victims. This crime often leaves victims feeling violated, anxious, and fearful, leading to significant distress and a decreased sense of personal security. The implications of voyeurism are indeed profound and far-reaching, and it is crucial to remember that help is available for victims of these intrusive crimes.

The seriousness of voyeurism  in Singapore can be overwhelming, especially when you feel you have no one to turn to. If you or someone you know has fallen victim to such a crime, don’t hesitate to contact professionals who can provide the necessary assistance and guidance.

Combating Voyeurism In Singapore

In an effort to combat voyeurism , Singapore has introduced tougher penalties for offenders, including jail terms, fines, and caning. Additionally, educational institutions have rolled out measures to prevent such incidents on campuses, including installing more CCTVs and conducting awareness campaigns about the perils of voyeurism.

Yet, combatting voyeurism is not only about punishment but also about education. Ensuring people understand the profound violation of privacy voyeurism represents, and the seriousness of this crime is paramount to reducing its incidence.

Conclusion On Voyeurism In Singapore

Understanding the crime of voyeurism in Singapore, its implications, sanctions, and ways to combat it is critical in fostering a respectful and safe environment for all. While Singapore has implemented rigorous laws and sanctions to deter such crimes, society still has a shared responsibility to uphold privacy rights and promote respect.

Voyeurism leaves indelible scars on those it affects, causing significant emotional distress. Recognising this and taking prompt action, whether reporting a crime, supporting a victim, or advocating for education and awareness, can make a crucial difference.

If you need further information about voyeurism or someone you know needs assistance dealing with such issues, please feel free to contact us. Our team of lawyers here in Tembusu Law will provide guidance and support in these difficult circumstances. Together, we can make Singapore a safer place for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Voyeurism In Singapore

What Counts As A Crime Of Voyeurism In Singapore?

Voyeurism crimes involve the non-consensual observation or recording of another individual in a private situation.

What Are The Penalties For A Voyeurism Offence In Singapore?

Penalties can include imprisonment, fines, and caning, depending on the severity of the offence committed.

How Can Victims Of Voyeurism In Singapore Seek Help?

Victims should immediately report the crime to the Singapore Police Force. Counselling and support services are also available.

Are There Specific Laws In Singapore Dealing With Voyeurism?

Yes, the Singapore Penal Code was amended in 2019 to include specific provisions against voyeurism offences.

What Measures Are Educational Institutions In Singapore Taking Against Voyeurism?

Institutions have been implementing measures such as installing CCTVs, conducting awareness campaigns, and setting up reporting mechanisms.

How Can I Protect Myself Against Voyeurism In Singapore?

Educating yourself about the crime, being aware of your surroundings, securing your personal space, and reporting suspicious activities can help protect you against the crime of voyeurism.

What Can I Do If I Know Someone Who’s A Victim Of Voyeurism?

Please encourage them to report the incident to the authorities. Support them emotionally and, if needed, accompany them to counselling or legal appointments.

Is Online Voyeurism Also A Crime In Singapore?

Online voyeurism, including the non-consensual sharing of intimate images or videos, is also considered a crime in Singapore.

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