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Upskirting; a guide by our sexual offence solicitor
19 Jan 2022

Do you have a smartphone? Have you recently been accused of taking pictures of someone without their permission?

Were these alleged photos of a sexual nature? If so, you shouldn’t take this accusation lightly and should contact our team for help.

At ABV Solicitors, our sexual offence solicitor has helped many people who have been accused of this act and we will work hard to ensure that your side of the story is heard. We will also liaise on your behalf with the prosecution’s legal team, helping to reach a compromise, if possible, that will spare you from a custodial sentence.

In this short guide, our sexual offence solicitor talks about upskirting, the laws that surround it, the sentencing and other important aspects that you will need to know about.

What is upskirting?

Sadly, upskirting is an offence that many younger people have heard of rather than older people, and, as the name suggests, it tends to target women who are wearing skirts in public places.

It is a term that involves someone taking a sexually intrusive photograph (usually on a phone) without their permission.

Our sexual offence solicitor states that as of 12 April 2019, people can be arrested for accusations surrounding this act in England and Wales. The new law places upskirting into the Voyeurism Act.

Why is this law so modern?

There have been many cases of upskirting reported to the police across the UK from women of all ages, who have been surprised to discover that this was not deemed a sexual offence or an intrusion of their privacy.

As the Voyeurism Act itself covered instances of exposing someone else’s or your skin and private areas (with or without consent of the other person), the act of upskirting fell into a grey area under UK law. And so, it was not deemed to be an illegal act despite the lack of consent and obvious harm it was causing to young women and girls.

An online petition was begun, and around 500,000 signatures were collected backing a bill to make it possible for police officers to arrest those who had been accused of upskirting, and for this action to lead to a custodial sentence. The law came into effect around 1 year after the petition began in 2019.


As this offence falls in the realm of a sexual offence and voyeurism, offenders who are found guilty of committing this act can face 2 years in jail and will be placed onto the sexual offenders’ register, even if the person they were taking the illicit photos of were over the age of 18.

If you are found guilty of upskirting, our team will work to appeal this ruling.

What to do if you are accused of upskirting

If you have been accused of upskirting, you need to contact our team as soon as possible at ABV Solicitors.

Although this law is relatively new, we have already helped many people who have been accused of this act, ensuring that their legal rights are heard and that they are defended ethically in court.

Sexual offence solicitors answer common FAQs

Confidentiality, the law and defence from our sexual offence solicitor