Have your say on the Voyeurism (Offences) (No.2) Bill

04 July 2018

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Voyeurism (Offences) (No.2) Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 10 July 2018; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Thursday 12 July 2018. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 12 July 2018.*

* In the last Parliamentary Session, the following Public Bill Committees concluded their consideration of the Bill earlier than scheduled: Criminal Finances, Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts), Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs), Neighbourhood Planning, Savings (Government Contributions), Technical and Further Education, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Children & Social Work, National Citizen Service, and Bus Services.

Aims of the Bill

The Bill would add a new section 67A to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which would set out two new voyeurism offences aimed at tackling "upskirting". This is the act of covertly photographing underneath someone’s clothing without their consent. It is often performed in crowded public places, for example on public transport or at music festivals, which can make it difficult to notice the perpetrator.

In England and Wales there is currently no specific criminal offence to cover this type of conduct. It would instead be prosecuted under the more general offences of outraging public decency or voyeurism. There can be difficulties in satisfying the requirements of these more general offences, which in some cases means prosecutions cannot be brought.

Scotland, however, amended its voyeurism legislation in 2010 to make upskirting a specific offence.

The Bill would adopt a similar approach to that taken in Scotland. The two new forms of voyeurism would cover the operation of equipment or recording of an image under another person’s clothing with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks (with or without underwear), and without that person’s consent.

The offences would apply where the perpetrator had a motive of either obtaining sexual gratification, or causing humiliation, distress or alarm to the victim.

The new offences would be triable either way. The maximum sentence following summary conviction would be 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine. The maximum sentence following conviction on indictment would be two years and/or a fine.

The Bill also provides for offenders convicted of particularly serious forms of the new section 67A offences to be placed on the sex offenders register.

A Private Member’s Bill on the issue, introduced by Wera Hobhouse, was blocked at second reading. The Government has therefore introduced its own Bill so that offences are more likely to make it onto the statute book

Bill Documents:
Including text of the Bill, explanatory notes, amendment papers and briefing papers


Follow the progress of the Voyeurism (Offences) (No.2) Bill

The Voyeurism (Offences) (No.2) Bill was introduced to the House of Commons and given its First Reading on Thursday 21 June 2018. MPs considered the Bill in a Second Reading Committee on Monday 2 July 2018.

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee and is expected to hold its oral evidence sessions on Tuesday 10 July 2018. The Public Bill Committee must conclude by Thursday 12 July 2018.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration and possibly reflect it in an amendment. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under

Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents pages. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 10 July 2018; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Thursday 12 July 2018. Please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 12 July 2018.

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk

Further guidance on submitting written evidence can be found here (PDF PDF 1.25 MB).

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