Labour calls for taking ‘upskirt’ photos to be made illegal

Posted On: 
11th August 2017

Labour has backed a campaign to make the taking of “upskirt” photographs a sexual offence in law.

Advances in technology require a change in the law, Labour has said
Credit: 
PA Images

The move comes after a young woman, Gina Martin, started a petition for changes in the law after a man took a photograph up her skirt, but was told by police he had not committed an offence. 

In a letter, Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon has urged his government counterpart David Lidington to criminalise the “disgraceful" and “invasive” act known as “upskirting”.

Sexual predator police officers could face tougher sentences

MPs demand urgent action to end ‘widespread’ sexual harassment of girls in schools

MPs to investigate sexual harassment in schools

He said rapid increases in mobile phone camera technology meant the Government should update the 2003 Sexual Offences Act to reduce the scope for those committing the act to get away with it.

“At present, there is a gap in the law that has allowed – and is continuing to allow – people who have taken such photographs in public places to escape prosecution. This needs to be changed,” he wrote.

He added: “I believe that in the country there is strong support for Gina Martin’s campaign for this necessary change in the law.

“The law must be changed so that women are protected, offenders are punished and potential offenders are deterred."

Mr Burgon said there had been “very welcome” public interest in the campaign and urged Mr Lidington to provide a public response and to ban the act.