The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Pregnant Woman Stripsearched In QLD Bottleshop

Posted by Clem Bastow on January 29, 2009

We hope you’ll forgive the infrequent posting this week; all but one of the Chorus are based in Melbourne and we’re currently in the middle of a 100-year heatwave! It’s not condusive to particularly rational or eloquent thought, but I could certainly tell heat-stress from pure rage when I read this story this morning: a woman, eight months pregnant, has been forced to undergo a stripsearch – in full public view – in a Queensland bottleshop after staff became suspicious that she was shoplifting:

A 40-year old Ipswich woman, who was eight-and-a-half months’ pregnant, was forced to lift her shirt after being wrongly accused of shoplifting at the Springfield Lakes 1st Choice Liquor store on Monday.

The woman, who was taking her time with her purchase, was buying a birthday present for a friend.

The distraught woman was told if she refused the search in full view of other customers, police would be called.


Queensland Consumer Watch spokesman and Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully described the incident as totally appalling and an invasion of individual rights.

“This is a matter for the police, not voyeurs working in liquor stores forcing pregnant women to undertake partial strip searches in front of other beady-eyed customers,” he said.

Incredible! The store’s feeble excuse for the gross invasion of privacy was that there had been an incident a week or so earlier when a shoplifter posed as a pregnant woman in order to cart out stolen goods.

I’m completely zonked from heat right now and my knowledge of the intricacies of Queensland law in these instances is limited; can any Sunshine State readers shed any light on whether this is even legal?


Posted in Media Watch, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

To Prevent Upskirting You Must Hold Down Your Skirt

Posted by Cate on December 12, 2008

My teeth were gnashing reading this article about “upskirting”. A poorly written article of quotes and Googling invites us to search for sites featuring upskirting with the opening:

A warning, ladies: if you don’t fancy the idea of your backside splashed over the internet, grip your hems tightly.

Sooo, someone taking a photo of my knickers is my fault? Upskirting is actually a crime. Laws have been in place since 2007 about capturing images of someone’s genital/anal area without their consent.  In fact:

It is against the law to photograph or use equipment (such as a mirror, drill or ladder) to deliberately observe or capture images of the anal or genital area of someone without their knowledge and in circumstances where it would be reasonable to expect that they would not be photographed in this way

Using a device to the observe genital area is subject to three years jail and taking or distributing photos, three months jail.

Surely that newspaper space would be better served writing about detection and prosecution and encouraging victims to report offences. Would The Age tell a woman to cross her legs to avoid date rape?

Posted in Sex Crimes, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

Top Gear‘s Racy Humour: Murdering Prostitutes Is Hilarious!

Posted by Clem Bastow on November 5, 2008

Having spoken before about the often misogynist culture of motorsport, I can’t say this one really surprises me, but it sure as hell disappoints and angers me: Jeremy Clarkson, the popular host of BBC’s Top Gear, reckons it’s okay to make gags about killing sex workers!

During the show, Clarkson joked about truck drivers, claiming they only cared about petrol prices and murdering prostitutes.

“This is a hard job and I’m not just saying that to win favour with lorry drivers, it’s a hard job,” Clarkson said as he was shown driving a Renault Magnum truck into a brick wall.

“Change gear, change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder.

“That’s a lot of effort in a day.”

LOL, Clarkson! Particularly when you consider, as the article mentions, the very recent (January this year to be precise) jailing of English truck driver and serial killer Steve Wright, who murdered five sex workers in Ipswich in 2006. On that topic, watch the BBC go into spin overdrive!

The BBC said Clarkson’s comments were designed to “comically exaggerate and make ridiculous an unfair urban myth about the world of lorry driving, and was not intended to cause offence”.

Oh yes, that “myth” about truck drivers murdering sex workers! The families of Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell, Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol and Annette Nicholls are, I’m sure, wheezing with laughter.

Posted in Celebrity, Media Watch, violence against women | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

To Pay For Your Pilfering, You Must Be Subjected To A Heavy Punishment

Posted by Lee on July 2, 2008

Is this just because there are some rogue, vigilante security guards in this world who don’t feel that the justice system is hard enough on crime, or is this because well, you know, they are just rapists?

The Brisbane Times reports:

PORT MORESBY – Police in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands’ region are investigating claims a security guard forced a suspected 15-year-old female shoplifter to pay for her crime with sex.

The young girl told police on the weekend security guards working at the Rainbow Store in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province, suspected her of stealing.

The guards detained her in their office before one forced her to have sex with him.

PNG’s Post-Courier newspaper reports the girl reluctantly gave in as she was scared.

Of course she was scared, what with being only 15-years-old aka a minor.

But the headline of this article is most disturbing:

Sex used as punishment for shoplifting

But let this learn you youngens next time you try to nick something. You’ll get to have SEX when you steal something, according to the Brisbane Times.

It is rape you morons, not sex.

Posted in Media Watch | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Her Ex May Be The Criminal, But Anne Hathaway Is The ‘Bad Guy’

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 2, 2008

If you’re a regular reader of the Hollywood gossip sites, you would’ve been following the unfolding tale of Get Smart star Anne Hathaway’s recent ex-boyfriend Raffaello Follieri’s fraud charges; he allegedly scammed investors in the States with a US$6 million property scam.

The Feds are now on Follieri’s case, but the blogosphere and the gossip columns seem to be more concerned with painting Hathaway in a dark light for apparently tattling on her man, flinging about jibes like “never trust a dame” and this corker from The Age‘s syndicated BANG! piece: “Did Anne dob in her man?”

A friend of Follieri speculated to the New York Daily News newspaper: “It makes sense. Hathaway is referred to as his former girlfriend in the FBI indictment even though her spokesman never confirmed they broke up.

So hang on, what was she supposed to do? Play Goody Hathaway and keep the Feds occupied with a slice of freshly baked apple pie while Raff hopped out the back window and into a getaway car?

Posted in Media Watch | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Victoria’s “Female Crime Wave”

Posted by Clem Bastow on June 26, 2008

If you are a regular reader of News Ltd’s Victorian stable, you might have noticed over the past few days that Melbourne’s favourite tabloid features a growing focus on crime perpetrated by young women; according to the Sunday Herald Sun, Victoria is in the middle of a female crime wave, as young women commit more crimes than ever and join “mixed-gender” gangs. The statistics say:

Victoria Police data obtained by the Sunday Herald Sun reveals under-18 girls were allegedly behind 558 incidents of property damage, 299 car thefts and 69 robberies.

A SPREE of burglaries, including 191 residential burglaries, 217 other burglaries and 42 aggravated burglaries.

139 drug offences and 69 weapons and explosives offences.

21 SEX assaults, two rapes, and eight abductions.

895 assaults, 450 burglaries, 2380 shoplifting offences and 558 property attacks.

THERE were 3617 girls aged from under 10 to 17 arrested, summonsed, cautioned or subject to a warrant in relation to the 6489 offences last financial year.

FEMALES accounted for 27 per cent of all under-18 distinct alleged offenders.

THERE was a 14 per cent jump in alleged offences by juvenile females on the year before and a 32 per cent increase on reports from two years earlier.

Ignore the faintly hysterical all-caps used and the stats paint an intriguing picture. Just a few days after that story was printed, the Herald Sun reported a woman having been chased and assaulted by two other women, apparently in a “thrill attack” (which is a disturbing and vaguely titillating term to use). But it has to be asked, is this really a compelling Police trend, or is it just another way for the Hun to exert their oh-so-entertaining views about women? I’m not saying “awesome, women are taking back crime!” but there is a more than slight scent to the coverage of “How did our society let this happen? Women are supposed to be the fairer sex!”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

When Sub-Editors Also Attack

Posted by Clem Bastow on June 25, 2008

I know this story from the site is a couple of days old, but I just can’t stop thinking about the headline:

Woman Punches Sex Attacker In The Face

Wow, sounds all kinds of awesome, doesn’t it? Sounds like AAP are telling us all about some ass-kicking vigilante female, right? Well, sort of:

The two 18-year-old women were walking along a road in Eight Mile Plains, Brisbane, last Friday night when a man pushed one woman to the ground and sexually assaulted the other, police said.

The woman punched her assailant in the face during the assault.

He fled when the woman’s friend ran to a nearby home and returned with a family member.

The woman will make a public appeal for information today to catch her attacker.

I can’t help but feel like the headline is a little irresponsible; the gist of the story is that two young women were assaulted (one sexually) and their attacker is still at large, and yet the headline in some way takes the attention away from the sex attack and onto the woman. And knowing’s general readership, the ‘righteous bitch’ angle would have them wildly clicking through only to be disappointed when it was just another boring story about some criminal.

Is it just me?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »