Wera Hobhouse's bill to make upskirting a specific criminal offence has passed it’s final Parliamentary hurdle, passing through its third reading in the House of Lords. The legislation now only requires the formality of Royal Assent in order to become law...
Upskirting is the vile practice of taking a photograph up someone’s skirt without their permission or consent.
The bill hit headlines last year after Tory MP Christopher Chope objected to it, which resulted in a national outcry. Embarrassed, the government rushed to overrule him by introducing the bill themselves.
The legislation has received mass cross-party support, and is amending the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to add upskirting as an offence under voyeurism. Offenders could face a spell of up to two years in jail.
The approval of legislation means upskirting will now be an illegal practice across the whole of Great Britain, after Scotland passed a law to cover this offence in 2010. The bill is expected to be granted Royal Assent in the next few months.
Much loved local PC Adge Secker, recently awarded the British Empire Medal for years of service, dedication and his contribution to policing in the city of Bath tweeted in response to the bill being approved by the House of Lords: “As my daughter turns 18 today, this is good news”.
Wera Hobhouse said: “The bill is a victory for the rights of women up and down the country, and firmly closes a loophole in law that has allowed this awful act to continue unpunished for far too long. It will give security and peace of mind to all those who have been affected, and offer clear legal protection for all moving forwards.”
She continued; “It’s very rare a bill from a back bench MP like me goes through on its first presentation. It shows that when we work cross party on issues that are important to people, we back benchers can make a real difference.”
Photo credit: Caz Holbrook - www.cazholbrookphotography.co.uk
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