MINISTERS are considering making ‘uspkirting’ a sex offence after a victim’s campaign was backed by thousands.
Gina Martin, 26, has been calling for a law change to make it a sex offence.
Currently it can be prosecuted as outraging public decency if it is done in a public place, if two or more people could have seen it and the act was ‘lewd’.
Ms Martin wants – and more than 65,000 people have signed her petition – for section 67 of the Sexual Offences Act to be changed to make upskirting a sex offence.
Justice secretary David Lidington had said he took ‘very seriously the representations’ made by Ms Martin.
She said: ‘The problem with outraging public decency is it doesn’t count as a victim crime. There isn’t a victim in that, it’s the public who have been outraged. It treats sexual assault like a public nuisance.
‘That means that the repercussion for the perpetrator, no-one is going to know that they’re a sex offender from their punishment.
‘It’s telling girls and young women that if they’re not at home then their bodies are public property.’
Ms Martin launched her campaign after being a victim of upskirting at a festival.
She uploaded a photo of the men she held responsible after the Met police said nothing could be done. Facebook removed it when it went viral.
When The News told Ms Martin that Barry Gillespie had been allowed out of a back exit at court, she said: ‘It’s so ironic, that’s really, really disappointing. He’s taken the images for sexual gratification of their bodies.
‘He’s taken their autonomy, the control of their own body, he owned all those images of women he didn’t know – and we’re protecting his image.’