New laws introduced to better protect victims
Today, Friday 25 November, the Ministry of Justice has announced new laws to better protect victims from abuse of intimate images.
Under a planned amendment to the Online Safety Bill, people who share so-called ‘deepfakes’ – explicit images or videos which have been manipulated to look like someone without their consent – will be among those to be specifically criminalised for the first time and face potential time behind bars.
The Government will also bring forward a package of additional laws to tackle a range of abusive behaviour including the installation of equipment, such as hidden cameras, to take or record images of someone without their consent.
APCC Joint Victims' Leads, Donna Jones and Sophie Linden, said:
“We welcome these changes to the law which will better protect women and girls and ensure victims are safeguarded from abuse of intimate images.
“The introduction of these offences will make it easier to prosecute perpetrators and ensure women and girls feel safe online and in public spaces.
“Violence against women and girls will not be tolerated and as Police and Crime Commissioners we are committed to tackling this epidemic. Across England and Wales, PCCs have been proactive in challenging the behaviours towards violence against women and girls and have commissioned vital services to ensure women and girls feel safe."
These laws will also cover so-called ‘downblousing’ – where photos are taken down a woman’s top without consent – allowing police and prosecutors to pursue such cases more effectively.
Donna and Sophie continued: “We welcome the introduction of down-blousing as a specific offence and hope this sends a clear message to perpetrators that this behaviour will never be acceptable in society.
“It is vital that the system is supporting and delivering for victims and we hope the Victims Bill will be introduced soon and be the piece of landmark legislation promised by government to drive drastic system-wide improvements and put victims first.”