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Upskirting is now a crime.

 

Upskirting is now a criminal offence in England and Wales. Gina Martin led the campaign for the law after she was targeted at a music festival.

Offenders who take an image or video under someones clothing in order to see their genitals or underwear. Will under the new law face up to two years in prison.

The law is already a crime in Scotland but not in Northern Ireland. Gina Martin was at a concert in Hyde Park in July 2017 when a man put his phone between her legs and took pictures.

When she told police, she was shocked to find that upskirting was not an offence and the case was closed. When she posted what had happened on Facebook her post went viral with lots of other women sharing similar experiences.

An online petition calling for police to open the case received 50,000 signatures. A Lib Dem MP backed by other ministers bought a private members bill backing the creation of an upskirting offence.

Initially, the bill was blocked by a Tory backbencher but that was widely criticised. And the campaign secured government backing on 15th July last year.

What is the new law?

The new offences apply in instances when:

: Without consent, a person takes pictures beneath a persons clothing to observe their genitals or buttocks, whether covered or uncovered by underwear.

: The offender has a motive of either gaining sexual gratification. Or causing humiliation, distress or alarm to the victim.

New police figures show that more people are reporting upskirting incidents rose from a total of 78 between April 2015 and April 2017 to 94 for the whole of 2019.

Campaigners from a children’s charity suggest that the problem could be more widespread than official figures show because many did not tell anybody what had happened to them.

 

ramsdens

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