You can never take your safety for granted, and it seems ridiculous that even in broad daylight, people are victimising women who are simply walking around going about their day to day lives.
Ollie O’Neill discovered this the hard way, but she’s been praised for the way she confronted an elderly bearded man who was was taking numerous photos of her legs without asking her permission.
She confronted the man after another woman, unknown to her, approached her in Chinatown in central London to tell her he had been photographing her.
Check it out here – although be warned there is a lot of strong language – which is completely understandable given the situation.
She furiously demanded he deleted the images from his phone but he simply told her she should be “proud” of her legs while claiming to be a university professor from Oslo.
Ollie screamed and shouted at the man and said: “Don’t f***ing take photos of me in public, you f***ing weirdo.
“I’m wearing tights. What fashion? Delete the f***ing photo,” she hits back at him.
He replies: “No … You should be proud!”
He then agreed to delete the photographs after claiming that he only wanted to “study” them.
Ollie posted the video of the incident on Twitter and it has since been retweeted more than 14,000 times.
She tweeted: “I’m really shaken up. A lovely woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I knew this man, and informed me he had been taking photos of my legs. He had at least 20. I only saw him delete one. This was 17:30, HSBC in Chinatown. @metpoliceuk is there anything that can be done?”
“Please RT so people know his face. I’m sick and f***ing tired of existing this way. The woman was so lovely and kind and gave me a hug and let the staff in the store know to look out for him. I’m sick of women having to look out for each other this way.”
I’m really shaken up. A lovely woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I knew this man, and informed me he had been taking photos of my legs. He had at least 20. I only saw him delete one. This was 17:30, HSBC in Chinatown. @metpoliceuk is there anything that can be done? pic.twitter.com/rulZ32e0Mo
— Ollie ⚢ (@olliecmoneill) September 30, 2019
Please RT so people know his face. I’m sick and fucking tired of existing this way. The woman was so lovely and kind and gave me a hug and let the staff in the store know to look out for him. I’m sick of women having to look out for each other this way. I’m so fucking tired.
— Ollie ⚢ (@olliecmoneill) September 30, 2019
Ollie received plenty of support from people online who condemned the man’s behaviour.
This is so fucking gross im so sorry
— CNS OUT NOW 🐓🍜 (@hopefulmyg) October 1, 2019
I’m so sorry you went through this. When I was 16, I had to confront a man in the next street who I caught filming me on a camcorder to force him to hand over the tape. Some men are just horrible. Sending strength.
— Esther Beadle (@estherbeadle) September 30, 2019
Good on you to confront the disgusting creep & demand he delete the photos. You sounded strong & brave despite it being an obviously horrible situation. So glad the other woman alerted you. Shame there weren’t more members of the public backing you up. Solidarity 💪
— Claire (@ClaireH72705937) October 1, 2019
This is ridiculous! And how he thinks that the fact he’s a “professor” gives him the right to take unauthorised photos of you. How absurd. Good on the other lady for letting you know. There are some right weird people about. Hope you’re alright.
— Fiona_86 (@Fee_1986) October 1, 2019
Bizarrely, however, some people actually had a go at her – the victim in all this!
I know absolutely nothing of this guy’s motives. It isn’t a crime to take a photograph in a public place (unless of course it’s up someone’s skirt). You, @olliecmoneill, sound like a right, royal attention seeker.
— the vicar #FBPE #StopTheCoup (@BiscuitRoddy) September 30, 2019
— John (@KeaneJohn69) October 1, 2019
Poor guys just having a few pics.
Pretty sure in your life you’ve taken a sneaky pic of someone to share on Snapchat etc.
— LondonGooner (@spokky274) October 2, 2019
You are very rude and not the only person to have legs in this world. I hope I never meet you or anyone remotely like you. You didn’t listen to him you just swore and called him a wierdo.
— Jon Gale (@JonGale4) October 1, 2019
However, the Met police got involved asking for Ollie’s details:
Hi, please DM us to discuss this. https://t.co/dinxYK3lYj
— Met Contact Centre (@MetCC) September 30, 2019
A Met Police spokesman told The Sun Online: “Police spoke to a woman on Monday after she had made contact about an incident in Gerrard Street, W1 that had taken place at around 5.30pm that day.
“An appointment has been arranged with a view to establishing whether any criminal offences have been committed.”
I’m genuinely baffled by people sticking up for the man and focusing on Ollie’s ‘language’ rather than the issue at hand. I’d love to see how they’d react if the same thing happened to them.
There’s no way I’d be able to show the same restraint as her – I’d have probably smashed his phone to pieces.
Images via Twitter
Charismatic, witty, charming, engaging - four things Joshua Rogers will never be. Thankfully, he’s a semi-competent editor, who, after graduating university with two mostly pointless degrees, joined The Hook two years ago. He subsequently honed his writing skills over several features and investigative pieces, arguably letting The Hook audience in on way too much of his personal life.