MORNINGTON police are planning to step up patrols against flashers on the foreshore between Mount Eliza and Mount Martha this summer.
Senior Sergeant Paul Edwards said the problem was “not of epidemic proportions, but it does rear its head from time to time and we want to stamp it out”.
Senior Sergeant Edwards said flashers were known to frequent narrow and winding tracks and trails leading to and from beaches and near beach boxes.
“It’s a seasonal thing and we will be mobilising police on foot and on bike patrols, especially near the Balcombe estuary,” he said.
A Southbank man was arrested in that area last year and charged with 10 counts of wilful and obscene exposure from September to November. His case, adjourned a number of times, will go before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court next month.
Senior Sergeant Edwards said flashers usually targeted girls and young women who often just chose to avert their eyes and ignore it, rather than taking positive action. Sometimes they waited until they got home, hours later, before reporting the offence, making it hard for police to catch the suspect.
“What we are asking is for victims to immediately call 000,” he said. “They should not approach the flasher but, if possible, observe them while making the call, taking note of their descriptions.
“If they can take a picture of the offender on the phone that would be even better.”
Senior Sergeant Edwards said flashers often did not have criminal histories, making them harder to detect.