Banbury upskirting victim ‘distraught’ as police continue ‘UK-first’ manhunt

The female victim of ‘upskirting’ in Banbury was ‘distraught’ after being told someone had taken a photo up her skirt, according to the investigating police officer.

Police are still looking for a man pictured on CCTV who is thought to have vital information about the incident in Wilko, but the woman who told the victim has been identified.

Police want to speak to this man about the upskirting offence in Banbury. Photo: Thames Valley Police

Police want to speak to this man about the upskirting offence in Banbury. Photo: Thames Valley Police

READ MORE: CCTV appeal after woman unknowingly upskirted while shopping in Banbury
The manhunt is thought to be the first in the UK since new laws were introduced in April and any other potential victims of ‘upskirting’ in Banbury are urged to come forward.

PC Anthony Cossar told the Banbury Guardian today (Monday, June 3): “The victim has been particularly upset and distraught by this, she was not treating it blasé.

“She was very upset about it when she was told what had happened unknowing to her.”

The 21-year-old victim was shopping in the store in Bridge Street at about 1pm on Monday, May 13, when a woman approached her to say a man had just taken a photograph up her skirt.

“People should be allowed to go shopping in peace and quiet,” PC Cossar added.

“We have helped her and got the necessary statements and when if there are any other victims that offer to come forward we can deal with them whether or not it’s the same person involved we can speak to them in confidence.”

Under the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019, ‘upskirting’ became a specific sexual offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. It came into force on April 12.

PC Cossar said he was not aware of any other ‘upskirting’ investigations in Banburyshire or Thames Valley, but was not sure if it was the first one nationwide.

He added that it is a ‘completely new’ crime for police to deal with which they have new powers to prosecute offenders for.

“You sometimes get people taking pictures in parks with children around but most of the time it’s innocent and legitimate but people get quite rightly concerned about those photos but this appears to be a deliberate act,” he said.

PC Cossar urged anybody who has been a victim of ‘upskirting’ and not reported it to police to do so in case it may be linked to the incident in Wilko.

“People might think it’s not serious enough but it is serious enough and we will deal with it robustly,” he said.

To contact police with information about this incident, visit https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report, call 101, or visit a police station, quoting investigation reference number 43190143158.

READ MORE: CCTV appeal after woman unknowingly upskirted while shopping in Banbury