SOUTH Wales Police is among 35 police forces to receive reports of upskirting in the first six months after it was made a specific offence, an investigation has found.

The first figures on the impact of the Voyeurism (Offences) Act, obtained by a Freedom of Information request, show that almost one victim a day has contacted police since its introduction last April.

Upskirting involves taking a photograph up someone's skirt without their consent.

Campaigners celebrated the new law, which makes upskirting a specific criminal offence, for holding potential perpetrators of sexual assault to account.

In South Wales, police received four reports of upskirting in the first 182 days after the law came into force.

Police did not provide any information about whether the cases resulted in criminal proceedings.

Across England, 153 allegations were made over the period, although two large police forces – London's Metropolitan Police Service and Bedfordshire Police – refused to respond to the information request, meaning the true number could be higher.

The vast majority of incidents involved female victims, taking place in schools, shopping centres and other public spaces.

Under the new law, a conviction at the magistrates' court would carry a sentence of up to one year in prison and could include a fine.

A more serious offence, tried in the crown court, can carry a sentence of up to two years in prison.

The Voyeurism Act also allows upskirting to be treated as a sexual offence and ensure that the most serious offenders are placed on the sex offenders register.

Campaigner Gina Martin, who spent nearly two years fighting to create a specific upskirting law, welcomed the statistics.

She said: "Upskirting doesn't exist in a vacuum.

"Sexual assault and violence is all linked, and I'm just so happy this law is holding those who perpetrate it accountable."

Separate data from the Crown Prosecution Service showed that 10 men were convicted of 16 offences in 2019.