Crime commissioner welcomes new law on upskirting

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, has welcomed moves to make upskirting a crime.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 09:58 am
Updated Monday, 28th January 2019, 10:04 am
Dame Vera Baird QC. Picture by Frank Reid

New legislation was backed by the House of Lords last week which will see upskirting become a criminal offence, with a two-year prison sentence.

Speaking after the bill was approved, Dame Vera said: “There is no doubt that the lack of an upskirting offence has caused inconsistent approaches by police and prosecutors, as well as leaving victims unsure of their rights.

“This new legislation is a most welcome step in the right direction and campaigners must be praised for their determination in shining the spotlight on such an important yet overlooked issue.

“My concern though, is that this is just one issue of many that needs focus from our Government.

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“For me, there is a real need to tackle violence against women and girls in a more fully, less segmented way.”

She added: “We are still eagerly awaiting the domestic abuse bill in the hope of it being transformative to fill the gaps and bring about positive change. These issues matter – victims need protecting now, not when it’s too late.”

Upskirting is the practice of making unauthorized photographs under a woman’s skirt or man’s kilt.