The Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019 creates two new criminal offences regarding voyeurism. This has also been known as the new ‘up skirting’ laws which came into effect on the 12th April 2019.
The offence means that a person commits a criminal offence if they operate camera equipment or take a picture or video under another person’s clothing without their consent with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks (with or without underwear) where the purpose is to obtain sexual gratification or cause humiliation, distress or alarm. In other words, it is now a criminal offence to take a covert photograph or video of a person’s buttocks or genitals, for example, under a skirt without that persons knowledge or consent.
This new offence is triable either way, which means it can be dealt with in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. The maximum sentence a person could face if found guilty of this offence would be a 2-year prison sentence.
Such an offence is therefore quite serious, and can involve delicate matters. If you are being investigated for such a matter, it is best to have a solicitor who can help weigh up the evidence against you with a neutral view and give you advice on the best way to proceed.
At Paul Robinson Solicitors, we are readily available to cover police interviews under caution, as well as Magistrates and Crown Court hearings. You are entitled to free and independent legal advice at the police station if you are being interviewed under caution. We offer a friendly, professional and non-judgmental approach to all clients at a critical and traumatic time.
If you find yourself in such a situation, please call 01702 338338 or our out-of-office number 01702 342525 24 hours a day. We have offices in Westcliff, Benfleet, Billericay (01277 500123) and Stratford (020 8049 5888).