According to this article https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/video/2018/jun/15/upskirting-happened-to-me-and-now-im-changing-the-law-video "upskirting" is not illegal in the UK. That sounds unbelievable in my ears. Can someone confirm this claim? Also, why isn't this considered sexual assault or something like that? Taking of someone's clothes in a sexual way, without the camera, must be a crime, mustn't it? So why is it not a crime to take a photo of the "act"?

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    In some US states, taking such a photo would be a crime. In others it would be so only where the victim has a 'reasonable expectation of privacy" not in a public place. In a number of US states, this would be a tort of invasion of privacy, and the victim could sue, but it might not be criminal. This is for contrast and not an answer, since the OP asked about the UK. Jan 14, 2019 at 1:57
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    "Why wouldn't this be a crime?" is answered with the question "Why would it have been made a crime previously?" Such an act wasn't really possible until the last few decades. Cameras were very conspicuous, so there was essentially no chance you could do this surreptitiously, and the social consequences for being caught were sufficient deterrent to prevent this from being an issue. It was only recently that the vast majority of the population was equipped with an inconspicuous, high-resolution, relatively high shutter speed camera cleverly disguised as a "phone". Jan 24, 2019 at 2:04
  • @zibadawatimmy Makes sense. How old is the word "upskirting"? My impression is that it is decades old which indicates that it occurred even before today's technology.
    – d-b
    Jan 24, 2019 at 21:56
  • @d-b That's an interesting question, and I have no idea. You'd have to ask a specialist, I imagine. There's an English SE that maybe could find an answer. Jan 28, 2019 at 3:09

1 Answer 1


It is illegal in Scotland. There is currently no law specifically against it in the rest of the UK. If you find this is unbelievable, yes it is. There are attempts now to change the laws.

PS. There are no photos taken "of the act". Taking the photo is the act. The pervs use a selfy stick or just get down on the floor to take photos, or take photos on stairs.

PPS. News on Jan 16th 2019: "A new law will now be introduced in the next couple of months. It could mean that perpetrators might face up to two years in prison and are added to the sex offenders register."

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