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Upskirting: Investigation into new law reveals 15-year-old Hertfordshire girl was a victim

A 15-year-old girl was the victim in one of two upskirting crimes which have been reported in Hertfordshire since new laws were created.

A boy, also 15, took photos of her while she was drunk or asleep before threatening to circulate them on social media.

The incident was revealed along with the first figures from the impact of the Voyeurism (Offences) Act which show that a victim has contacted police almost every day since the law's introduction in April last year.

Data obtained by the Press Association news agency under the Freedom of Information Act from 35 police forces found 153 incidents were reported in the 182 days since the law was created.

This was up from 94 incidents among 25 constabularies with available data during 2018, the year before the law was introduced, and up from 78 over the two-year period to April 2017.

The vast majority of incidents between April and October 2019 involved female victims and took place in schools, shopping centres and other public places.

Separate data from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) showed that ten men were convicted of 16 offences last year.

Upskirting is the act or practice of surreptitiously taking photos or videos at an angle so as to see up a woman's or girl's skirt or dress.

Alana Ryan, senior policy officer at children's charity the NSPCC, said: “Upskirting is part of a toxic culture of harassment that has become so normalised that young people are at risk of being targeted on the bus or even at school.

"It’s essential police have the resources to take these reports of abuse seriously, while schools have a crucial role to play by teaching pupils about consent and healthy relationships.

"Through the new relationships and sex education curriculum, children must be supported to recognise what constitutes abuse and harassment so they can feel confident when reporting it.”

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