Up-skirting, down-blousing and cyber-flashing
Up-skirting, down-blousing and cyber-flashing are crimes which can distress and humiliate a victim. If you carry out any of these sexual crimes you could get sent to prison and be put on the sex offender register. The police will take any report that victims make seriously and confidentially.
Up-skirting is when someone uses equipment under a person's clothes to look at or take a photo or video of their genitals, bottom or underwear without their consent. Often, equipment like a mirror or mobile phone is used to do this.
Down-blousing is when someone uses equipment, like a mirror or mobile phone, under or above someone's clothes to take an image of someone's breasts or underwear without consent.
Cyber-flashing is when someone sends an unwanted sexual image or video to another person, usually by social media, text messages, Bluetooth, Airdrop or dating apps.
Sending sexual images of genitals or sexual activity is against the law, even if it is computer generated. Sending an image in other ways like in the post or setting it down somewhere for someone to find is also against the law.
Reporting sexual crimes to the police
Sexual crime is unacceptable. If any of these crimes happen to you, or you see it happening to someone else, you should report it to police. The police will listen to you and you will be taken seriously.
Prison time for sexual crimes
Anyone who carries out any of these sexual crimes could go to prison for up to two years. If the crimes were carried out for a sexual purpose, the person could also be placed on the sex offender register which could last up to ten years.
Getting help and support
Anyone can be a victim of sexual crimes. There is help available for victims. You can contact the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline.
The helpline 0808 802 1414 is open to women and men affected by sexual violence and abuse. This free telephone service is available 24 hours a day all year.
Webchat is available at dsahelpline.org.