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    Jul 22, 2015

    What drives offenders to do it

    ARE those who take upskirt photos socially awkward teenagers with no ability to interact with women?

    Not true, said Daniel Koh, 44, a psychologist with Insights Mind Centre.

    He said upskirting is a form of thrill-seeking.

    "The thrill of voyeurism comes from the power and control they feel when they target unknowing victims," he said. "Anyone can be a peeping Tom."

    There have been undergraduates, a bank executive and even a medical doctor. For these men, simply watching pornographic materials is not enough. They feel the need to take their own clips.

    He said: "To them, it's an achievement to amass upskirt pictures and videos. The more they have, the better they feel. And then it becomes a motivation for them to continue."

    Why the high number of cases? Mr Koh and psychiatrist Munidasa Winslow blame technology.

    Mr Koh said: "With modern technology, opportunities have widened and people move away from traditional peeping Tom behaviour."

    Dr Winslow said: "Upskirting has become easy with the advancement of technology, with mini cameras and mobile phones widely available.

    "It's like porn. In the past, you had to buy a film to watch it, but now with your phone, you can find it."

    He likens online upskirting communities to those for online gaming communities.

    He said: "It's a compulsion, like gaming, where players have to get to the next level.

    "To them, it's another quest they have to complete to compete with others."

    National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser said: "These online communities accept their perverse behaviour and reward it.

    "It is self-reinforcing by the people, whether real or virtual, that they choose to hang out with."