It's not every day I can write that the law is always on the side of victims - but today is one of those days.
Under the Police and Crime Plan which I aim to deliver with Wiltshire Police - putting victims first is at the heart of everything that the police do; to serve and protect the public of Wiltshire.
However, I am sorry to say, the police do their job but sometimes the actual law falls short of caring for victims and some crimes go unpunished. The so-called: "loop-hole" in the law.
This is why I was heartened to hear that a new bill received Royal Assent only last week (12/02/19) to punish those who carry out the degrading act of 'upskirting.'
'Upskirting' is where an offender takes a picture under a person's clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks. The new law, which will come into effect in the next two months, will ban this humiliating practice to deter perpetrators, better protect victims, and bring more offenders to justice.
The move follows tireless efforts by campaigners, victims, charities, ministers and MPs to close a small gap in the law. The issue was first brought to the public's attention by the unwavering campaign of a young woman called Gina Martin, after two men took a picture up her skirt at a festival.
This behaviour is often successfully prosecuted under the offence of Outraging Public Decency. However, following concerns raised by victims that not all instances of 'upskirting' were covered by current law, the government acted to create a new, specific offence.
You now have The Voyeurism Bill, which outlaws 'upskirting' where the purpose is to obtain sexual gratification, or to cause humiliation, distress or alarm. E.g. where culprits say images were just taken 'for a laugh' or when the paparazzi shoot intrusive images.
Perpetrators could face up to two years in prison and in the most serious of cases offenders will be placed on the sex offenders register.
I believe this to be a major milestone in our criminal justice system and should protect everyone - male or female - from this debasing act.
The new law will send a clear message that such behaviour is criminal and will not be tolerated and that victims - like Gina Martin - have a voice and can be heard.