A 26-YEAR-OLD Northwich woman who has campaigned for the past 18 months to make ‘upskirting’ a sexual offence after being targeted at a festival, has succeeded in her bid to change the law.

Gina Martin, who now lives in London, was watching The Killers at the British Summer Time music festival in London’s Hyde Park in 2017 when she caught a man taking pictures up her skirt.

After police told her that there was nothing much they could do as it was not a criminal offence, Gina set about on her 18 month-long campaign, with the help of lawyer Ryan Whelan, to make upskirting an offence in its own right.

That campaign started with a petition which gained more than 50,000 signatures, and culminated in Gina’s new voyeurism legislation being approved in the House of Lords on Tuesday

It hit a major bump along the way, when, after being picked up by Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse and taken to Parliament in the form of a Private Member’s Bill, it was halted by objections from Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope, and fell through.

But now, after being passed in the House of Lords, it now only awaits the formality of Royal Assent, and thereafter will see offenders face up to two years in prison for taking up-skirt pictures.

Giving a statement to followers on social media after the Bill was passed on Tuesday, Gina said she was ‘over the moon’ and ‘exhausted’.

Gina said: “The upskirting Bill has passed its final stage in the House of Lords, and will now go to the Royal Assent to sign off imminently. I am over the moon. Upskirting will become illegal.

“I always thought politics was impenetrable, but with the right help and the willpower you can do it.”

“After becoming a victim and recognising the gap in the law, I partnered with Ryan Whelan, of Gibson Dunn, and began 18 months of exhaustive, emotional and life-changing work.

“Now? We have changed the law! I always thought politics was impenetrable, but with the right help and the willpower you can do it. We did it. We made upskirting a sexual offence. I am exhausted and so, so happy.”