Upskirting has officially been made a criminal offence in England and Wales following a high-profile campaign backed by Minister for Youth and first female MP for Eastleigh, Mims Davies.
The move - which will see offenders face up to two years in prison for taking an image or video under somebody's clothing - has been widely welcomed by victims - including Gina Martin who led the campaign to have the legislation introduced - as well as by MPs and Charities.
Commenting, Eastleigh MP Mims Davies said:
“It is deeply unsettling to hear the accounts of so many women who have had been victims of upskirting. it’s a complete invasion of privacy and can be extremely distressing.”
“As Eastleigh’s first female MP, and having served on the Women and Equalities Select Committee, I have worked a number of women’s issues, including FGM and vaginal mesh implants, lending support to constituents and pushing to create better protections for women across the country and around the world.
“I am therefore absolutely delighted that upskirting is now a crime. This has been a fantastic campaign and whilst I’m saddened to hear that these women have been targeted, I absolute admire their efforts to carry on and change the law to protect other women in the future.”
Former victim of upskirting and campaigner, Gina Martin said:
“The Voyeurism Act has come into effect and I’m so happy. Finally we have a fit-for-purpose law that protects against every instance of upskirting - as we should have always had.
“But this is just the beginning. Please raise your voice and report if you are a victim or if you see someone become one - every report builds a picture so we can stop upskirting.”
Justice Minister Lucy Frazer MP added:
“We have always been clear – there are no excuses for this behaviour and offenders should feel the full force of the law. Now, they will.
“By taking decisive action and working closely with Gina Martin and other campaigners, we have ensured more people are protected from this degrading and humiliating practice.”