Taking ‘upskirt’ photos of unsuspecting women should be a ‘sexual offence’, says Labour MP Richard Burgon

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TAKING “upskirt” photographs of unsuspecting women should become a specific sexual offence, Labour has said.

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon has called on ministers to close a “gap in the law” to prevent the “disgraceful, invasive” practice of taking photos under women’s dresses without their permission.

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon said the practice is ‘disgraceful’ and ‘invasive’

In a letter to Justice Secretary David Lidington, Mr Burgon said the law needed to be clarified to offer women greater protection and to ensure offenders are punished.

More than 58,000 people have signed a petition to add the offence to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 started by Gina Martin, from London.

She discovered men had taken photographs up her skirt when she was attending the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park last month.

Mr Burgon said: “I am writing in support of the campaign, started by Gina Martin, to make disgraceful, invasive “upskirting” photographs a sexual offence in law.

“The scope for people to take ‘upskirting’ photographs has clearly increased with developments in mobile phone technology since the enactment of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

“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.”

Lord David Lidington
MPs call on Justice Secretary David Lidington to change the law
PA:Press Association


He told Mr Lidington: “Given the very welcome public interest in – and support for – this campaign, I have made this letter public, and hope that you will publicly respond very soon with an announcement of plans to change the law so that the taking of ‘upskirting’ photographs is a sexual offence in law.”

Ms Martin, writing on her online petition, said she saw the men sending an image taken up her skirt to each other and snatched one of their phones so she could report it to security.

She said the law needs to reflect that the offence was “a sexual offence with a victim”.



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