Upskirting likely to become criminal offense in UK

Howard TerryJun 18, 2018

A Conservative MP who blocked a bill to make upskirting a criminal offence has said he does support moves to criminalise it.

The government previously gave its support to the private member's bill, which could see offenders jailed for up to two years, and it was expected to pass.

This behaviour is a ugly invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded.

She said making upskirting a specific offense would send a clear message that perpetrators will be punished.

Gina Martin, an upskirting victim whose petition to criminalise the act won her a legion of celebrity supporters and political backing, said the decision left her extremely upset but that she remained positive.

The PM expressed her "disappointment" that the private member's Bill, which would have made upskirting a criminal offence in its own right, was delayed in the Commons.

'The fact that the government have listened to our calls is testament to the widespread consensus that there was a gap in the law that needed to be addressed.

He explained that he stopped the bill from progressing because he disapproved of how the legislation was being brought in.

"It's really annoying we couldn't make progress".

"We all made the case for common sense". But when she reported the incident to the police, they told her it was unlikely they would be able to follow up on it.

Police have declined to prosecute a man Martin accused of taking underskirt pictures of her on his phone at a music festival in London last summer.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was disappointed a politician from her own party had blocked the bill.

Victims of upskirting have been found to be as young as 10 years old.

The new law would bring the punishment for "upskirting" in line with other existing voyeurism offences, and the changes will see offenders face a maximum of two years in prison.

While Scotland has had its own law on upskirting for nearly a decade, there is no specific legislation against the intrusive act in England and Wales, according to UK's Press Association.

"The government has been hijacking time that is rightfully that of backbenchers", he said.

The Government had earlier given its support to the introduction of the new law, but - following the objection in Parliament today - the Bill has effectively been put to the "back of the queue" and will not be debated in Parliament for at least several weeks.

"The Bill will be heard on Friday and we trust and hope that no member of Parliament will oppose it".

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