Jones hits out at ‘upskirting’ delay

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Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones has said he is ‘stunned and appalled’ after a new law to make upskirting a specific sexual offence was blocked in Parliament.

Mr Jones - who strongly campaigned for the offence to be brought into law - tweeted that he was ‘simply lost for words’ after the Voyeurism (Offences) Bill was blocked last Friday.

Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope reportedly chose to object to the bill when it was raised in the House of Commons.

Several MPs heckled the MP during his intervention - including Louth & Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins, the Minister for Women.

The Private Member’s Bill, brought to the House of Commons by Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, would have made upskirting a specific criminal offence - with offenders facing up to two years in prison.

‘Upskirting’ is the practice of secretly taking photographs under a skirt, but not all instances of upskirting are currently covered by existing criminal law.

The Government had earlier given its support to the introduction of the new law, but - following the objection in Parliament - the Bill has effectively been delayed although it could appear on the agenda.

Mr Jones said: “I’m stunned and ashamed that one man has brought an end to this Bill.”

“This abhorrent and depraved offence happens here in Lincolnshire as much as anywhere and our women and girls should have been a step closer to protection in law from those that would think to do it.

“Hearing Louth and Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins’ cry of ‘shame’ when the objection was called upheld my faith that we have good people elected to the House.”