The Sexual Offences Act 2003 came into force today. The new offence of Voyeurism carries a penalty of up to 2 years in jail.
and being placed on the Violent and Sexual Offenders' Register.
Every operator or installer of a web camera, or a CCTV surveillance camera, or a mobile phone with a built in camera (including the Mobile Phone Networks), should read the relevant clauses, and think twice about taking or facilitating the taking of voyeuristic images.
Any such images of Children (which now includes 16 and 17 year olds) carries even higher penalties.
(1) A person commits an offence if-
(a) for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he observes another person doing a private act, and
(b) he knows that the other person does not consent to being observed for his sexual gratification.
(2) A person commits an offence if-
(a) he operates equipment with the intention of enabling another person to observe, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, a third person (B) doing a private act, and
(b) he knows that B does not consent to his operating equipment with that intention.
(3) A person commits an offence if-
(a) he records another person (B) doing a private act,
(b) he does so with the intention that he or a third person will, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, look at an image of B doing the act, and
(c) he knows that B does not consent to his recording the act with that intention.
(4) A person commits an offence if he instals equipment, or constructs or adapts a structure or part of a structure, with the intention of enabling himself or another person to commit an offence under subsection (1).
(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable-
(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;
(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.
68 Voyeurism: interpretation
(1) For the purposes of section 67, a person is doing a private act if the person is in a place which, in the circumstances, would reasonably be expected to provide privacy, and-
(a) the person's genitals, buttocks or breasts are exposed or covered only with underwear,
(b) the person is using a lavatory, or
(c) the person is doing a sexual act that is not of a kind ordinarily done in public.
(2) In section 67, "structure" includes a tent, vehicle or vessel or other temporary or movable structure."