CAMPAIGNERS have called for more school education on healthy sex and relationships as Essex recorded more than 15 upskirting incidents in the past two years.

Upskirting is a form of voyeurism where someone uses a camera or phone to take photos or videos underneath a person's clothes without their permission.

It was made illegal in England and Wales in 2019.

Figures obtained through a freedom of information request by RADAR show 19 upskirting offences were recorded in the last two years by Essex Police.

Of the 14 victims, 13 were female and one was male. 

Andrea Simon, End Violence against Women Coalition director, said: “It is vital we take this behaviour seriously, so those who do it know they will face consequences for it, but also to prevent the potential escalation of sexual offending.

“We need to think about upskirting as connected to all the other forms of harassment and abuse that women experience.

“It is a harmful violation in its own right and it's also connected to the fears that women have about the risk of other forms of sexual violence and the calculations we are always making about our safety.”


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In Essex, two of the upskirting crimes led to a charge or summons at the time of the request.

A Government spokesman added 60 per cent of offenders convicted of voyeurism in the past year were handed a suspended sentence, or placed immediately in custody.

The spokesman added: “We created a specific offence to tackle upskirting because it is an abhorrent and degrading crime which no one, especially children, should have to experience.

“We are also investing record funding into policing and up to £7.4 million in projects to tackle the root causes of violence against women and girls."

Across England and Wales, 721 upskirting crimes were recorded in 2021 and 2022 across 38 forces – 96 per cent of victims with a recorded gender were female.

For the 37 forces that provided details of how the incidents were followed up, 86 or 12 per cent of these crimes resulted in a charge or summons.