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Dame Vera Baird welcomes move to make upskirting a crime

16th January 2019

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, has welcomed new legislation, backed by the House of Lords yesterday (Tuesday 15, January, 2019) which will see upskirting become a criminal offence – carrying a two year prison sentence.

Speaking after the bill was approved, Dame Vera said: “There is no doubt that the lack of an upskirting offence has caused inconsistent approaches by police and prosecutors, as well as leaving victims unsure of their rights.

“This new legislation is a most welcome step in the right direction and campaigners must be praised for their determination in shining the spotlight on such an important yet overlooked issue.

“My concern though, is that this is just one issue of many that needs focus from our Government. For me, there is a real need to tackle violence against women and girls in a more fully, less segmented way. We are still eagerly awaiting the domestic abuse bill in the hope of it being transformative to fill the gaps and bring about positive change. These issues matter – victims need protecting now, not when it’s too late.”