MP Lucy Frazer hails 'effective campaign' as upskirting is now a crime
PUBLISHED: 14:27 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:28 12 April 2019
SE Cambs MP - and Government minister - Lucy Frazer has praised an "effective campaign" to make upskirting a criminal offence in England and Wales from today (April 12).
Offenders will now face up to two years in prison for taking an image or video under somebody’s clothing in order to see their genitals or underwear.
Ms Frazer has worked alongside campaigner Gina Martin to bring about the change in the law.
Posting on social media this morning (April 12) she said: “Today the unacceptable act of upskirting becomes a criminal offence - with a punishment of up to two years in prison and the possibility of offenders being placed on the sex offenders register.
“This follows a very effective campaign by @ginamartin_uk”
Gina Martin, who led the call for change after being targeted at a music festival, said she hoped the change in law would help people “feel comfortable” to report such crimes.
Encouraged by government ministers, she brought a private members’ bill backing the creation of an upskirting offence.
The bill was was initially blocked by a Tory backbench MP, in a move which was widely criticised.
However, Ms Martin’s campaign secured government backing in July last year and the Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill was put before Parliament days later.
Speaking about the issue in June last year, Ms Frazer called upskirting a “distressing and humiliating” experience.
Speaking to the Victoria Derbyshire show, she said: “I am proud to have been able to get behind Gina’s campaign and to have helped bring about this change in the law.
“Upskirting is a humiliating activity and this law will ensure that the gap in the law which existed will now be filled.”
In the interview, Gina paid tribute to Lucy and her team for their support and said, “this is grass roots campaigning and politics at its best...it shows community and politics can work together to achieve something great.”