‘Upskirting’ could become a criminal offence

A change to the law surrounding upskirting could be implemented, Justice Secretary David Gauke has signalled.

Mr Gauke said his officials are reviewing the current law to make sure it is “fit for purpose”.

And he told MPs he is “sympathetic” to calls for further action against the practice.

There is a “case for making sure we’ve got something specific” to deal with upskirting, Mr Gauke added.

Campaigners said existing laws for voyeurism, public decency and public order do not provide enough scope for a conviction, with calls to create a specific sexual offence to deal with it.

The first official figures obtained on upskirting, which often sees perpetrators taking photographs or videos of a victim’s groin area from under their clothing, showed complainants as young as 10.

The information, obtained by the Press Association, also highlighted that only one-third of police forces in England and Wales have any data on the prevalence of upskirting.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Gauke said: “I share the outrage at the distress that this intrusive behaviour can cause to victims and I’m determined to ensure that victims have confidence that their complaints will be taken seriously.

“I am sympathetic to the calls to change the law and my officials are reviewing the current law to make sure it is fit for purpose.

“As part of this work, we are considering the Private Member’s Bill put forward.”

Labour MP Gill Furniss said almost 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for upskirting to be a specific sexual offence, with MPs from the major parties backing a motion on the issue.

She asked: “Why is the minister still refusing to act? We really need to make sure that our law reflects that of Scotland’s, where this has been incorporated into their Sexual Offences Act 2009.”

TNT News

Photo Credit: StockSnap

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