13 upskirting cases reported in region after new law introduced
More than a dozen cases of upskirting have been reported to Humberside Police in the six months since it was made a specific offence, an investigation has found.
The first figures on the impact of the Voyeurism (Offences) Act, obtained by a Freedom of Information request by the PA news agency, show that almost one victim a day has contacted police since its introduction last April.
Campaigners say upskirting “does not exist in a vacuum”, and celebrated the new law for holding potential perpetrators of sexual assault and violence to account.
In Humberside, police received 13 reports of upskirting in the first 182 days after the Act came into force.
One case resulted in an adult caution, while evidential difficulties prevented further action in five other cases. There were no convictions recorded.
The vast majority of incidents involved female victims, taking place in schools, shopping centres and other public spaces.
Campaigners previously complained that the lack of a specific upskirting law meant police were unsure how to deal with allegations, and therefore many crimes went unreported.
The Voyeurism Act also allows upskirting to be treated as a sexual offence and ensure that the most serious offenders are placed on the sex offenders register.
Campaigner Gina Martin, who spent nearly two years fighting to create a specific upskirting law after two men who took a picture up her skirt at a festival in 2017 went unpunished, welcomed the statistics.
She said: “The Voyeurism Act only came into use eight months ago and the difference in charges and reporting is already up greatly.
“Among those who were charged was a convicted paedophile and a man who police subsequently found had 250,000 indecent images of children. Upskirting doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Sexual assault and violence is all linked.”