The new law making upskirting a specific criminal offence has moved a step closer, as a Government Bill is introduced in Parliament today.
The move was confirmed by the Prime Minister earlier this week, after a government-backed Private Members Bill (PMB) did not pass its second reading.
The PMB was blocked in the House of Commons by one Tory MP, Sir Christopher Chope. As the issued was raised in Parliament, Chope shouted “object”, resulting in other MPs to call out “shame”.
Upskirting is a term for people taking photos of under unsuspecting women’s skirts. There are also similar offences such as ‘down blousing’, where people take pictures of a woman’s cleavage, without her knowing.
Theresa May has made it clear that the government will get the new law on the statute book, and ministers have acted decisively to bring through the changes as quickly as possible.
Ministers have intervened and adopted the measures as a Government Bill, in order to make sure there will be no delay in getting this new law into practice.
Justice Minister Lucy Frazer said, “The support for this new law from the public, campaigners, and across parliament shows just how seriously this crime is being taken.”
“Upskirting is a humiliating and degrading practice.”
“We will ensure this Bill becomes law as soon as possible to protect more victims and properly punish offenders.”
The Government Bill will build on Wera Hobhouse’s proposals, by ensuing that the most serious offenders are placed on the sex offenders are placed on the sex offenders register. The new law would bring the punishment for upskirting in line with other existing voyeurism offences, and will see offenders face a maximum of two years in prison.
The second reading of the Bill is expected to take place before Summer Recess.