Perverts are getting away with it as just 29 upskirting cases make it to Crown Office

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today called on the Scottish Government to resolve obstacles preventing upskirting cases from being reported to the Crown Office (COPFS) even as the actual number of cases continues to rise.  

His call comes after a Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information request revealed that while 547 upskirting crimes were reported to the police in 2021-22, just 29 of them were subsequently reported to the COPFS. 

The party previously revealed that between the law being introduced in 2010 and 2018, it had led to an average of 3.5 prosecutions and 3.2 convictions per year.

Independent expert analysis has suggested there are loopholes in the law, which at present only covers images obtained for motives of sexual gratification or causing distress.

 Commenting on the figures, Mr McArthur said:   

“We need the government to take these offences seriously. They compromise the safety and dignity of women and constitute a form of harassment that for too long has been ignored. 

"The increase in the number of cases reported suggests that people are finally gaining the confidence to come forward and report these incidents. Yet the shockingly low number of cases being passed to the Crown Office indicates that perpetrators are still getting away with it. 

“These figures should embarrass the government and certainly tarnish the SNP’s record when it comes to safeguarding victims of sexual abuse. Women and girls in this country should not be expected to endure such horrific violations.   

“The nature of these offences means that victims already feel a sense of shame when reporting them to the police. The government will only discourage victims from speaking out if they do not close the loopholes which prevent upskirting offences from being reported to the COPFS.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to press the government to review the law in this area to allow more cases to be reported to COPFS. This is the only way of giving victims confidence in the system that should be protecting them.” 

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