Nottingham Upskirting Victim Welcomes New Law
12 April 2019, 09:03 | Updated: 12 April 2019, 09:05
As upskirting becomes a specific sexual offence, a victim from Nottingham has told Capital it will help empower more victims to come forward.
Jen Thomas caught a man taking photos of her under her skirt at a train station in London at the end of 2018.
She has told Capital she was in disbelief when it happened, and was concerned that police would not believe her.
As upskirting becomes a specific offence with a possible jail term of up to two years, victim @JournoJenThomas from #Nottingham has told Capital she hopes it will give others who are targeted the courage to report it #CapitalReports pic.twitter.com/Px40ooSXUk— Capital East Mids News (@CapitalEMNews) April 12, 2019
"I heard this beep of a digital camera, and this man was holding his camera down by his thigh and he was aiming it up my skirt," she said.
"I saw him and looked at him like, 'what are you doing?', and he walked off.
"It wasn't great, but I was in denial at first. But then I realised what was happening and I got angry and called police.
"I hope this will give people more confidence to report things when they happen, as I know many women don't feel like they'll be taken seriously.
"Luckily I was, and police did investigate it."
But despite their investigations, no arrests or charges were made.
The new law will see offenders face up to two years in jail in England and Wales, if they are convicted of the new upskirting legislation.
It's been brought in as it's been tough to prosecute in the past, with some that do get to court placed through voyeurism or outraging public decency offences.
Figures show at least 94 were reported to 25 police forces in 2018, with 10 of those in the East Midlands. Victims included a 14 and 17-year-old.
In one case a girl caught a teacher taking the photos.
The number of cases last year is higher than were reported to police in the two years to April 2017.