Upskirting bill to be introduced by the government

Latest news

    Woman in skirtImage copyright Getty Creative

    Legislation making upskirting a criminal offence is to be introduced by the government later after an earlier bid was stopped by one of its own MPs.

    A bill in the Commons aims to tackle a gap in the law in England and Wales concerning incidents where a photo is secretly taken under a victim’s skirt.

    If passed, offenders will face up to two years in prison.

    Sir Christopher Chope had previously objected to a private member’s bill being used to create a new offence.

    The Conservative MP for Christchurch said he supported a law change but had stopped the bill from progressing last Friday because he disapproved of how the legislation was being brought in without a debate.

    Upskirting has been covered by legislation in Scotland since 2010.

    In England and Wales, prosecutors can currently use offences of outraging public decency, harassment or voyeurism to tackle upskirting – but not all cases can be covered by those charges.

    Ministers had backed the creation of an upskirting offence through legislation in the private members bill by Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse.

    Her bill was expected to sail through the Commons on Friday, but parliamentary rules mean it only required one MP to shout “object” to block its progress.

    Sir Christopher’s intervention was met with shouts of “shame” from other MPs and the prime minister and other Conservatives criticised his actions.

    At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Theresa May said she supported introducing a law via a bill and told MPs the worst offenders would be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

    Gina Martin, an upskirting victim whose petition to criminalise the act sparked a campaign and political backing, has also welcomed the government’s adoption of the bill.

    Justice minister Lucy Frazer said: “The support for this new law from the public, campaigners, and across parliament shows just how seriously this crime is being taken.”


    What is the current law?

    • There is no law specifically naming and banning upskirting in England and Wales, victims and police are currently only able to pursue offences of outraging public decency or as a crime of voyeurism
    • Upskirting has been an offence in Scotland since 2010 when it was listed under the broadened definition of voyeurism

    What are the limitations of the current situation in England and Wales?

    • Voyeurism only applies to filming actions taking place in private
    • Outraging public decency usually requires someone to have witnessed the action but upskirting is often unobserved
    • Unlike other sexual offences, people don’t have automatic right to anonymity
    View the original article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44557441

    What does the new law propose?

    • As well as carrying a maximum two-year sentence, it would also allow, in the most serious cases, those convicted to be placed on the sex offenders register

    Upskirting law going back before MPs

    Legislation making upskirting a criminal offence is to be introduced by the government later after an earlier bid was stopped by one of its own MPs. A bill in the Commons aims to tackle a gap in the law in England and Wales concerning incidents where a photo is secretly taken under a victim’s skirt.

    In the same category are

    Shona McCallin: Olympic gold medallist on effects of ‘brutal’ concussion Shona McCallin on her struggle with concussion2018 Hockey Women's World CupDates: 21 July-5 August Venue: Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Queen ...
    The Papers: ‘Tearful Cliff’ and ‘Boris twists the knife’ Image caption Sir Cliff Richard's court victory against the BBC makes the front page of the Daily Star. It quotes the singer as saying he "won't go...
    New operational service medal recognises fight against IS Image copyright Ministry of Defence Medals honouring UK military personnel involved in the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria h...
    Israel approves controversial ‘Jewish nation state’ law Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Netanyahu said the bill's passing was a "defining moment" Israel's parliament has passed into law a controver...
    New Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab set for talks with EU Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Dominic Raab will be fronting the UK's negotiations with the EU The UK's new Brexit secretary will hold hi...
    Police must tackle hate crime problems, says watchdog Image copyright PA Police in England and Wales must tackle "significant problems" in handling hate crime ahead of a possible rise in such offences a...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.