Late Monday morning, August 10, the webcam on Main Street in downtown Southampton was found vandalized. Police are investigating but so far do not have any suspects, though they believe it happened sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.
The webcam was put up on July 1 as a joint project between Dan’s Papers and Southampton Village to catch people violating the proper dress code ordinance in that village. The webcam was streaming on the Dan’s Papers website, danspapers.com, and the public was invited to watch it and, if they found a perpetrator, grab an image of the perp from the webcam stream and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dan’s Papers would then post the perp pics and ask readers to identify who they were. Once we had that, Southampton would be informed and the perp ticketed.
The ordinance, which has been in effect since 1954, reads as follows:
“#82-14: No person shall appear in a public street in the Village of Southampton, New York, clothed or costumed in such a manner that the portion of his or her breast below the top of the areola is not covered with a fully opaque covering. #82-15: no person shall appear in a public street in said Village unless his or her buttocks and the private or intimate parts of his or her body are covered with fully opaque covering. #82-12: no person shall appear in a public place in said village, clothed or costumed in a bathing suit, except within a distance of 500 feet of a body of water, unless such bathing suit is completely covered with fully opaque outer clothing.”
Between July 2 and last Monday, 87 people were identified, issued summonses and required to pay the $175 fine. (The law would have allowed $1,000 in fines and up to 15 days in jail for a first offense.) A 15% bounty was then paid to the person grabbing the photo off the webstream, and a further 5% bounty paid to the identifier, according to the rules explained on the Dan’s Papers website.
Here is a photo of one of the signs in the center of town warning people of the consequences of not obeying the proper attire laws in Ordinance 82.
At the top of this article is a photo of a woman clearly in violation of the Southampton Village Proper Attire Ordinance. This photo was the last image grabbed from the video stream before the vandalism. It is the only photo not identified during the time the webcam was up. Please send us the name of this person and you will be eligible for a bounty percentage.
Meanwhile, police are working to restore the crippled webcam. It is their hope the video stream may show the people vandalizing it.
“There are severe punishments for vandalizing public property in this village,” Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley said, “and we will enforce them to the fullest extent of the law.”
Epley also said he hopes the webcam can be fully restored so there will be no necessity to go to the expense of replacing it.