Former government lawyer admits ‘upskirting’ in first charge on railways

BY YANN TEAR
yann@slpmedia.co.uk

A man has admitted to a charge of ‘upskirting’ at Embankment Tube station in what is believed to be the first such conviction secured by the British Transport Police (BTP) on the rail network.

Daren Timpson-Hunt, 54, a former senior government lawyer, of Broadstone Road, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last Thursday charged with one count of operating equipment beneath clothing of another without consent.

He admitted the charge and is due to be sentenced this week.

The legislation, which was introduced in April this year under the Voyeurism Act, established upskirting as a separate criminal offence. Previously, officers would use other legislation which was not designed for this type of offending.

Detective Inspector David Udomhiaye, head of BTP’s Sexual Offences Unit, said: “We’re pleased that we have been able to charge someone for the very first time under the new legislation.

This is a big step in us in clamping down on this invasive and disgusting form of sexual offending.

For some time we had been using other laws – such as Outraging Public Decency – to prosecute offenders for upskirting offences. However, this older legislation was not fit for this newly-emerged crime on the rail network, and these new powers now make it easier for my officers to charge a suspect.

“We hope this helps us in sending a very strong message that sexual offending, including upskirting, will never be tolerated on the rail network.”

Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance and Policing at Transport for London (TfL), said: “Upskirting is a predatory crime and we are determined to rid the transport network of this vile offence.

We will continue to work closely with the police using this new legislation to push for the strongest charges for offenders. We would strongly encourage anyone who experiences this crime to please report it by texting 61016 or calling 101, so that it can be investigated.”

In recent years, BTP has worked closely with rail industry partners to combat unwanted sexual attention.

A ‘Report It To Stop It’ campaign encouraged victims of this behaviour on the rail network to report offences to police. Every report builds a picture and helps BTP officers identify offenders and ensure they are brought before the courts.

You can report matters to BTP by either texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40. You can also report online, by visiting https://www.btp.police.uk/report

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