‘Upskirting’ now a Criminal Offence

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‘Upskirting’ now a Criminal Offence in UK

The Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019 has now made ‘Upskirting’ a criminal offence in England and Wales. The new law came into force on the 12th April following a long campaign by activist Gina Martin.

Gina Martin started a campaign after a picture was taken up her skirt at a festival in 2017 and her case was closed. Before the offence came into force, there was no specific offence for ‘Upskirting’ which meant many cases went without prosecution.

What is ‘Upskirting’?

‘Upskirting’ is a term used for taking a photo beneath someone’s clothing in order to view genitals or buttocks without their consent. The offence includes pictures taken whether underwear is worn or not. The offence has most commonly occurred in clubs, bars, and on public transport and there has been an increase in reported incidents in recent years.

What is the penalty?

‘Upskirting’ is an either-way offence which means it can be tried in the Magistrates’ Court or – for more serious cases – in the Crown Court. The offence can result in period of up to 2 years’ imprisonment for more serious cases and can also result in the perpetrator being put on the sex offenders register.

If you have any further questions or need advice in respect of this matter or any other criminal matter then please contact a member of our criminal law team.

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