By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
A series of photos and videos showing women’s legs and behinds while shopping at the Oshawa Centre, apparently captured without their consent, has gotten the attention of the Durham Regional Police.
The series of videos and images appear on a blog titled CanadaCreeping, and include several short videos and photos of women in tight jeans or leggings, shopping inside the Oshawa Centre.
The discovery of the website got the attention of several Oshawa residents earlier this week who shared the images on Facebook in an attempt to identify the man behind the camera. All that can be seen are the occasional glimpses of an arm or leg, and pair of black shoes with white trim.
“If you’re from Oshawa you’re gonna wanna know about this,” writes Oshawa resident Christeen Thornton in a Facebook post, which has since been shared more than 1,000 times. “If you visit the Oshawa Centre please be wary of this guy. This sort of creepy behaviour usually escalates.”
The issue has also gotten the attention of Durham police who say they are working with security at the Oshawa Centre to identify the man making the videos and images.
“We reached out to the OC folks and they have been fully cooperative. We are currently working with them to identify the male and are discussing issues like security and reporting with them,” says Dave Selby, a spokesperson with DRPS. “We’ve had a great relationship with the OC over the years and we will work closely with them on this situation.”
However, with that said, Selby acknowledges that the criminal nature behind the behaviour, and whether it is in fact a crime as the filming is taking place in a public area, may not be so cut and dry.
“It’s not a simple, easy answer,” Selby says. “It is a public space, but privately owned, so there would be rules in terms of expected behaviour of anyone entering the mall.”
With that aside, the police are looking for any women who may be able to identify themselves in the videos or images to come speak with them.
“What we want to do is talk to the women involved, so we can explore their concerns and find out more details,” Selby says. “Then perhaps we could explore issues like harassment, which is a criminal offence.”