NEWS that ‘upskirting’ perpetrators can now face two years in prison and be placed on the sex offender register has been welcomed by Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane.

Upskirting involves offenders taking a photo under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks and a new law making this act a specific criminal offence received Royal Assent on February 12.

The new law, which will come into effect in two months, will ban the degrading practice to deter perpetrators and aims to better protect victims and bring more offenders to justice.

“By making this a criminal act it does send out a strong message to those who carry out the act that it is very wrong and they will rightly be punished,” said Mr Ruane.

“Advances in technology, such as camera phones, have meant that there has been an increase in incidents taking place with the British Transport Police reporting a 178 per cent rise in incidents from 2013-17.

“I know many people such as Gina Martin, who was a victim of upskirting, have campaigned tirelessly for this measure to be brought in and they should be very proud of their achievement.”

A summary conviction for upskirting would carry a sentence of up to one year in prison and / or a fine, while a more serious offence, tried in the Crown Court, would carry a sentence of up to two years in prison.