03/09/2018 7:56 PM AEST

Seoul Public Toilets To Be Checked Daily For Hidden Cameras In Bid To Combat ‘Spy Cam Porn’

More than 6,000 incidents were reported in South Korea last year.

JUNG YEON-JE via Getty Images
A government employee carrying out a toilet check in August 2016

Checks for hidden cameras in public toilets will be carried out daily in Seoul, officials in South Korea have announced.

“Spy cam porn” is a huge problem in the country, with more than 6,000 cases reported to the police last year.

At present, toilets in the capital city are checked once a month, with 50 government workers employed specifically to carry out the searches – but they have never managed to find any cameras.

As a result, the city government is set to increase its efforts by getting the 8,000 other workers who maintain and clean the toilets daily to start checking them.

The move, first reported by South Korean news agency Yonhap, comes following growing public anger against the rise in spy cam porn.

Difficulty in catching perpetrators stems from the fact it’s possible for the cameras to be fitted and removed in just 15 minutes. Obtained footage is then illegally posted online. 

So far this year, there have been four protests about the issue in Seoul, with 40,000 attending the most recent demonstration in early August. 

Jean Chung via Getty Images
Cameras have also been found in gym changing rooms and shop fitting rooms.

Speaking to the BBC earlier this year, a member of Seoul police’s sex crime investigation team explained the difficulties faced in trying to prosecute perpetrators.

Park Mi-hye said: “The distribution of this type of pornography is often not punished overseas. So even if it’s illegal in Korea, it can’t be investigated if it is legal in foreign countries or circulated on foreign sites.

“Even when we close down the webpage, they can tweak the web address a little and open the site again. We keep track of each change of address, but their methods continue to develop.

“The punishment for these crimes is also not severe. Right now the penalty is one year in prison or a fine of 10 million won (£6,900) for distributing illegal footage. I think it would be helpful to raise the level of punishment.”