Upskirting Is Finally A Criminal Offence In England And Wales

Offenders could face two years in prison.


Upskirting is now a criminal offence in England and Wales following a campaign by a woman who was targeted at a music festival.

Offenders could face up to two years in prison for taking an image or video under someone’s clothing.

The new law comes into action after an 18 month campaign by Gina Martin, who was a victim of upskirting when she attended British Summer Time Festival in 2017.

Gina saw a man take a photo from under her skirt, after snatching the phone and running to police she was told that what the man had done wasn’t a criminal offence.

The case was closed just four days later.

After sharing her experience on Facebook her post went viral, leading to an online petition calling for police to reopen the case receiving 50,000 signatures.

Upskirting – the practice of taking of sexually intrusive photographs under someone’s clothing without their permission – is already a crime in Scotland and has been since 2010.

Martin brought a private members’ bill backing the creation of an upskirting offence.

While her bill was expected to pass through the commons with no issues, parliamentary rules meant it only required one MP to shout “object” to block its progress.

The bill was was initially blocked by a Tory backbench MP, a move which was heavily criticised.

However, Ms Martin’s campaign secured government backing on 15 July last year and the Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill was put before Parliament days later.

The new legislation was approved in the House of Lords and has now passed the formality of Royal Assent to become law.

At the time, Ms Martin said: “To the outsider, the ordinary person, law and politics are complex and daunting. But both are penetrable if you believe in yourself and find the right support.”

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