UPDATE: Lincolnshire PCC ‘stunned and appalled’ after new upskirting law is blocked

PCC Marc Jones
PCC Marc Jones

UPDATE: Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, said on Friday evening: “This Bill had cross Party support and has been frustrated by a single individual who appears to object to the principle of Private Members Bills rather that the content of the Bill itself.

“However, the result is the same in that perpetrators of what would have been a sexual crime carrying up to two year in prison and listing on the sex offenders register will now not be brought to justice, and victims will be left wondering how this odious act is not a crime in our civilised country.

“This abhorrent and depraved offence happens here in Lincolnshire as much as anywhere and tonight our women and girls should have been a step closer to protection in law from those that would think to do it. They aren’t, and that is down to one man.

“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 and that despite this setback we may yet see noble minds and deeds succeed.

“All is not lost with a further date of 6th July having been proposed for the second reading of the Bill back but unless the Member for Christchurch has an unexpected change of stance the same may well happen again.”

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

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 this afternoon (Friday).

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 this afternoon, after Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope reportedly chose to object to it when it was raised in the House of Commons.

It is reported that 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 today - the Bill has effectively been put to the ‘back of the queue’ and will not be debated in Parliament for at least several weeks.

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