Upskirting Made Criminal Offence by Parliament

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Image of Gina Martin from AFP

Upskirting has finally became a criminal offence after the introduction of a new law passed by parliament.

The act of taking a picture underneath a person's clothing without their consent, could now leave people facing jail time.

If found guilty of upskirting, perpetrators can expect to be jailed for up to two years and be placed on the sex offenders register.

This comes months after Conservative backbencher Sir Christopher Chope blocked the Bill for the first time in June last year. This led to Chope being condemned by his fellow MPs, causing the Government to adopt the Bill

The Bill has been passed after an 18-month campaign which was led by Gina Martin, writer and activist, who, after being a victim of upskirting at a festival, launched an online petition calling for action to be taken.

Martin was 'astounded' when she learnt that upskirting was not illlegal when she reported her incident to the police.

After posting details of what happened to her on Facebook, Martin stated the online petition was started in order to get the police to open her case, at the time her petition had 50,000 signatures.

Celebrities such as Laura Whitmore and Dermot O'Leary have shown their support for Martin’s campaign calling for upskirting to be made part of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Lib Dems MP Were Hobhouse also showed support for Martin’s campaign and brought forward the private member’s bill backing Martin’s statement that upskirting should be a criminal offence in both England and Wales back in March last year.

The government has now announced that the bill has received its Royal Assent.

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