Indecent acts filmed on phones
A man who allegedly performed sex acts in public has been charged after two quick-thinking women filmed him in the act on their smartphones.
Howick Community Constable Ian Willetts says a man ‘‘over 30 years old’’ allegedly exposed himself to two women, at different times and places in the East Auckland area.
In the first incident, the man walked around the Botany Town Centre public library before stopping in an aisle.
A woman sitting nearby ‘‘observed him playing with the front of his trousers’’, Willetts says.
The man then allegedly exposed himself and performed a sex act.
‘‘She was quite shocked and upset by what she saw - as you would be. So she’s used her mobile phone to actually take a [visual] recording of it.’’
The woman then approached library staff and town centre security to inform then about what she’d witnessed.
They followed the man but lost sight of him.
Willets says the footage gave police ‘‘partial recognition of the male, just from a side view’’.
In the second incident, a women was eating her lunch in the window of a Meadowlands restaurant when she noticed a man walking back and forth.
‘‘He’s then done exactly the same thing... before walking away,’’ Willetts says.
‘‘Again, she had the presence to get out her mobile phone and record what was going on. We had a good recognition of his face this time.’’
Willets says the man does not live in East Auckland and there weren’t any ‘‘aggravating factors’’ to the offending.
‘‘This was about a public show,’’ he says. ‘‘There was no physical interaction.’’
Without the video footage, Willetts says the police might not have had any other avenues of investigation.
He says there’s no underestimating the extent to which mobile phone technology has become a tool for fighting crime.
The man is due to appear in the Manukau District Court on two counts of committing an indecent act in a public place.
Willetts says anyone who has recently witnessed similar behaviour can contact him at the Howick Police Station on phone 09 250 2800.
An aisle at the public Botany Library where one of the indecent acts was committed.