It will soon be a criminal offense in the UK to point a camera up a woman’s skirt and take a photo (an act called “upskirting”), with offenders facing up to two years in jail. It’s hard to believe, but there’s no specific law on the books, so police have had trouble prosecuting the creeps that do it. The new legislation will be largely through the efforts of victim Gina Martin. She was upskirted at a music festival in London, and despite having photographic evidence, police said they were unable to act because the photos weren’t considered graphic.
Afterwards, Martin started a petition that gained 104,000 signatures, including nearly 50,000 in the UK. That eventually caught the attention of Justice Secretary David Lidington, who got the ball rolling on the new legislation. The law will receive a second reading in the House of Commons today, after which it will specifically be illegal to “take a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks,” according to the government.