Tags: uk | upskirting | ban | blocked

UK Upskirting Ban Blocked; Gap-Filling Voyeur Law to Be Delayed

UK Upskirting Ban Blocked; Gap-Filling Voyeur Law to Be Delayed
Canadian actress Pom Klementieff, fashion detail, attends Magnolia Pictures' 'Damsel' premiere at ArcLight Hollywood, in Hollywood, California on June 13, 2018. (TARA ZIEMBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Friday, 15 June 2018 04:22 PM

A planned UK upskirting ban was blocked in Parliament on Friday due to one lawmaker's objection, and the law could not be debated because of time restrictions and will have to be put off to a future time.

British lawmakers had planned to ban "upskirting" -- secretly taking pictures up women's skirts -- and imposing prison sentences of up to two years for the crime, AFP reported.

"This behaviour is a hideous invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed," junior justice minister Lucy Frazer said, giving the government's backing to the draft law put forward by opposition lawmaker Wera Hobhouse.

People convicted of "upskirting" would be placed on the sex offender register once the law is approved by parliament.

Conservative MP Christopher Chope blocked the bill at Friday's session to cries of "shame" from other lawmakers but Hobhouse has asked for it to be debated on July 6.

Some instances of "upskirting" are currently prosecuted under existing public decency and voyeurism laws, but campaigners said not all instances were covered by existing criminal law.

Campaigner Gina Martin started an online petition after police declined to prosecute a man she accused of taking a picture of her on his phone at a music festival as she had been wearing underwear and the photo was therefore not considered illegal.

"This is obviously great news," Martin said on Friday.

"Now -- hopefully -- we can get access to justice for all victims because the politicians listened," she said.

Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women's Aid, said: "We welcome the government taking decisive action to make upskirting a criminal offence.

"This form of abuse is painful and humiliating for victims and often has a devastating impact on all aspects of their lives."

Lisa Hallgarten, head of policy for Brook, a sexual health and well-being charity for young people, also welcomed the recognition of upskirting as a criminal offence.

But she said that "the law alone is not enough".

"Schools have a critical role in challenging harmful behaviours and practices by dealing with any issues promptly," she said.

"In order to keep children and young people safe from harm we must teach them at the earliest opportunity to respect each other's privacy, to know their rights and to understand issues around consent, coercion and unwanted, unsafe touch."

© AFP 2019

   
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A planned UK upskirting ban was blocked in Parliament on Friday due to one lawmaker's objection, and the law could not be debated because of time restrictions and will have to be put off to a future time.
uk, upskirting, ban, blocked
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2018-22-15
Friday, 15 June 2018 04:22 PM
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