Kelly-Marie Blundell, PPC for Lewes Constituency, is speaking out against Upskirting and calling for it to be illegal in England and Wales following reports that children as young as 10 years old are becoming victims.
Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse has a bill in Parliament which looks to ban the offence, and Kelly-Marie Blundell spoke to BBC Radio Sussex about the issue on Monday 14th May 2018
“It baffles me as much as it horrifies me that the act of taking photographs under a woman's skirt is not illegal." Kelly-Marie said;
“People think of this as a relatively modern offence, with the growth of social media and camera phones, but Scotland made this practice an offence in 2009 so England and Wales are woefully behind the times.
“I have friends who have been subjected to it – and it is appalling, after the Me Too campaigns last year, that women should feel threatened and assaulted in this way.
“The Liberal Democrats are confident that with cross party support we will make this vile activity a crime and protect women across the country from this vile act.
“I hope schools and youth organisations are taking action themselves to protect young people from the activity already, even though it is not illegal, as it would clearly be a traumatic and harmful experience for any girl or young woman to experience in this setting.”
Wera Hobhouse MP said:
“I am delighted to see that the Ministry of Justice are listening to - and working with - Gina, Ryan (campaigner) and I to ensure that 'upskirting' becomes an offence in all circumstances. We are getting closer and closer to achieving our goal and the latest discussions regarding the Bill have been very promising.
“We are now in the final stages of agreeing the detail and it is for that reason we have mutually agreed to push back the second reading until Friday 15 June. This will give us the time necessary to ensure the Bill has the full support of the Government.
“We must keep up the pressure to ensure that this receives as much support from Parliament as possible so we can finally make 'upskirting' what it should be: a specific criminal offence."