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Three reports of 'upskirting' in Wiltshire since new law began

Three reports of 'upskirting' in Wiltshire since new law began

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 7:46am 10th January 2020. (Updated at 7:48am 10th January 2020)

3 minute read

In one incident a man tried to take an intimate picture of a women while at a swimming pool changing room.

In the first six months after upskirting was made a specific offence figures show Wiltshire Police received three reports of the crime.

Only brief details have been revealed and its not known which swimming pool the 29 year old woman was targeted at..

In a another incident a 38-year-old woman told police a man placed his mobile phone on the floor and slid it towards her when she was bending down to tie her children's shoelaces, attempting to film under her dress.

Police identified a suspect but said there were evidential difficulties.

In the third case a woman said a male used a phone to take a picture below her skirt.

There were no convictions in any of the Wiltshire incidents.

Mobile phone Pixabay JPG
Upskirting involves taking intimate pictures of women.

ONE VICTIM A DAY

The first figures on the impact of the Voyeurism (Offences) Act, obtained by a Freedom of Information request by the PA news agency, show that almost one victim a day has contacted police since its introduction last April.

153 allegations were made over the period, although two large police forces, London's Metropolitan Police Service and Bedfordshire Police refused to respond to the information request, meaning the true number could be much higher.

The vast majority of incidents involved female victims, taking place in schools, shopping centres and other public spaces.

Campaigners previously complained that the lack of a specific upskirting law meant police were unsure how to deal with allegations, and therefore many crimes went unreported.

SENTENCE:

Under the new law, a conviction at the magistrates' court would carry a sentence of up to one year in prison and could include a fine.

A more serious offence, tried in the crown court, can carry a sentence of up to two years in prison.

The Voyeurism Act also allows upskirting to be treated as a sexual offence and ensure that the most serious offenders are placed on the sex offenders register.

Feet women Pixabay
Upskirting is now a crime.

CAMPAIGNER:

Campaigner Gina Martin, who spent nearly two years fighting to create a specific upskirting law after two men who took a picture up her skirt at a festival in 2017 went unpunished, welcomed the statistics.

She said: 

"The Voyeurism Act only came into use eight months ago and the difference in charges and reporting is already up greatly.

"Among those who were charged was a convicted paedophile and a man who police subsequently found had 250,000 indecent images of children.

"Upskirting doesn't exist in a vacuum.

"Sexual assault and violence is all linked, and I'm just so happy this law is holding those who perpetrate it accountable."

 

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