Female students living in the Haarweg flats are best off keeping their curtains closed. Several peeping toms are on the prowl again. The police are extra alert.
Plain-clothes police officers patrol the housing complexes but the chances that they will catch a peeping tom red-handed are small. Moreover, just looking is not a crime; something more must be involved. 'If the genitals are visible, it becomes another matter,' explains Quint. And yet, she feels that it is important to intervene early, as peeping tom behaviour can escalate. 'You never know whether someone hasn't already got ideas about going a step further,' says Quint.
The police have not uncovered any clear pattern yet, except that the peeping toms operate mostly in the evening or the early hours of the night. The occupants themselves can also take action. In December 2011, students managed to apprehend a peeping tom and turn him over to the police. 'Occupants may call 112 directly when they spot a peeping tom,' adds Quint. More tips from the constable: confront strangers found in the building, note down the number plates of suspicious cars and, of course, keep the curtains closed.