“Upskirting” in the UK Now Punishable by Up to 2 Years in Jail

Think twice before sticking a camera up a woman's skirt in England

upskirting is now illegal
"Upskirting" is illegal in England and Wales. (Getty)
By Ariel Scotti / April 12, 2019 10:08 am

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If you’re in England, you better think twice before sticking a camera up a woman’s skirt.

Just in case anyone needed a reminder that women generally don’t enjoy having their genitals photographed without their consent, the act is now illegal in both England and Wales. “Upskirting” offenders could face up to two years in jail, and those deemed especially heinous might even find themselves on the sex offenders’ registry, Britain’s Ministry of Justice said Friday.

“We have always been clear — there are no excuses for this behavior and offenders should feel the full force of the law. From today, they will,” Justice Minister Lucy Frazer said in a statement.

The legal switch is thanks to one woman, Gina Martin, who was the victim of an upskirting crime at the British Summer Time music festival in 2017, according to CNN . After reporting the incident to police, Martin, now 27, was shocked by their refusal to prosecute and by the fact that the act wasn’t even considered a crime.

Since then, she’s been campaigning endlessly, gathering support on social media and pressuring lawmakers to take action. On Friday, she saw her hard work come to fruition.

“Finally we have a fit-for-purpose law that protects against every instance of upskirting — as we should have always had,” Martin said in a statement on Friday. “But this is just the beginning. Please raise your voice and report if you are a victim or if you see someone become one — every report builds a picture so we can stop upskirting.”

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