Upskirting likely to become criminal offense in UK

Upskirting likely to become criminal offense in UK

The government says it is committed to making sure it becomes a criminal offence.

Frazer had called upskirting "a ugly invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed".

"It can not be tolerated, so it is absolutely right that the Government supports this Bill to make "upskirting" a specific offence".

Had the law passed, someone secretly taking a photo up a woman's skirt could have faced up to two years in prison.

The bill was due to receive its second reading in the House of Commons on Friday, but progress was halted when a member of Parliament later identified as Christopher Chope objected, prompting some cries of "shame" from other lawmakers.

A plan by the United Kingdom parliament to ban taking photos up women's skirts without their permission was blocked at the last minute by one Conservative lawmaker who refused to support the law.

The initiative was stopped by Christopher Chope who objected when the bill was put forward in the House of Commons.

Ms Martin said she remained "hopeful" and had arranged a meeting to discuss it with Sir Christopher.

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Sir Christopher has yet to speak out about his intervention, but upskirting victim Gina Martin - who started the campaign for the new law - said he told her he objected "on principle" because it "wasn't debated".

So Martin made a decision to start a campaign to make the practice a criminal offense.

The Bill, which would have progressed to the amendment stage before returning to the Commons and the Lords and, later, receiving Royal Ascent, will have to return for another Friday Private Members Bill session, on July 6, if it is to have any hope of becoming law this Parliamentary term.

Theresa May's government endorsed the legislation earlier on Friday. "We knew this was a risk - but I now stand with powerful, passionate women and men behind me".

Martin's next step is to meet with Tory MP Lucy Frazer, along with Hobhouse and her lawyer Ryan Whelan to plan their next steps.

"Don't underestimate just how furious many Tory MPs are about this", tweeted Paul Masterton, a new MP who is 39 years Sir Christopher's junior.

Now victims in England and Wales are forced to seek prosecution through other legal avenues, such as outraging public decency or harassment, prompting the call for a specific law similar to one already in force in Scotland.

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