The Government announced that as of the 12th April 2019, upskirting is now a crime and could carry a sentence of up to two years in prison for those found guilty.
The change in the law follows a high profile campaign by Gina Martin, a woman who had herself been a victim of upskirting at a festival where police failed to prosecute.
What is Upskirting?
Upskirting, under the new law, is classified as when someone takes a photo or video up someone else’s clothing where their underwear or genitals are visible. Whilst most cases of upskirting involve men targeting women, it is highly possible for the roles to be reversed.
Until this month, there were no laws in place in England and Wales to make it explicitly illegal to photograph or video up someone else’s clothing. Some cases may have previously fallen into the category of prosecution for outraging public decency but this would not have been applicable to many.
Under the new law, The Voyeurism Act, upskirting is to be treated as a sexual offence with the most serious offenders being placed on the sex offender’s register.
Sentences for Upskirting
If tried in a Magistrates Court, a conviction for upskirting could carry a prison sentence of up to one year and/or a fine. More serious offences will be tried in a Crown Court with offenders facing up to two years in prison.
It is worth noting that the new law cannot be applied retrospectively so any photos or videos taken before 12th April cannot be considered under the upskirting law but could still fall under the outraging public decency law.
If you have been accused of any of the crimes mentioned above and require advice or defence from a legal professional, whether during a police station interview or at court, call Farleys criminal defence team on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email. We also operate a 24 hour emergency line on 01254 606050.