Voyeurism: additional offences

Part of Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 12th July 2018.

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If only this was about pornographic websites. We live in a culture in which people will take such pictures and engage in that behaviour not just to humiliate, but to entertain. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is a regular reader of Heat magazine, and magazines such as Closer. He will have seen such pictures being used to entertain. The risk of setting out the motivations is that we create loopholes and take the focus away from consent. He and I agree that consent should be the primary focus. Saying it is taken as read is not the same as making it the primary, defining factor.

The right hon. Member for Basingstoke has been brilliant about identifying some of the challenges. By removing these requirements, we take the focus back to the victim. I worry, and I suspect that other Committee members worry too, that there will be a case in which somebody says, “It wasn’t for sexual gratification; I was making money, but doing so to entertain.” That is the world we live in now. We have voyeurism for the sake of voyeurism. There is no sexual element to it; there is simply the pleasure of seeing somebody else in an awkward position. It is not necessarily about humiliation or distress. Again, setting bars for what has to be proved would create an environment that none of us want.