In news that’s likely to have most Brits exclaiming “wait, you mean it wasn’t illegal already?!”, the UK government has announced a specific new law prohibiting the thoroughly grotty practice of ‘upskirting’.
Pervs busted for using cameras to get a peak beneath others’ clothing will face up to two years in prison and a place on the sex offender’s register. The Voyeurism (Offences) (No.2) Bill gains royal ascent (meaning The Queen rubber stamps it), today and plugs gaps in existing decency laws that saw camera-wielding deviants get off lightly in the past.
The new law, which will come into effect two months from now, covers those photos taken for “sexual gratification” or to “cause humiliation, distress or alarm.”
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On the Gov.UK website, the government explains the practice as follows: “‘Upskirting’ typically involves offenders taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks. The new law will ban the degrading practice to deter perpetrators, better protect victims, and bring more offenders to justice.”
Until relatively recently a staple of the British tabloid paparazzi photographer, the problem has become more pronounced in recent years, due to the vast majority of the British public now constantly carrying a very capable camera, courtesy of their smartphone.
The British Transport Police has reported a 178% rise in the number of reported upskirting incidents from 2013-2017. Previously, those crimes were punishable under Outraging Public Decency offences, where there have been limited successful prosecutions.
The new law means England and Wales now catches up with Scotland, which already had a separate law in place.
The most serious offenders, tried in the Crown Court will face two years in the nick and a well-earned place on the sex offenders register. Summary convictions will result in a fine and/or up to one year in jail.
Victims will receive the same protections as those who suffer other sexually-related crimes. That means reporting restrictions on their identities.
Do you think the law will act as a deterrent? Or will British prisons now see an influx of upskirters? Perhaps our female readership would like to weigh in on this one? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.