A Manchester mum’s tireless campaign work has led to a new law that makes it illegal to photograph breastfeeding women.
Julia Cooper launched the Breastfeeding in Peace campaign after she caught a man taking photos of her breastfeeding her child at Sale Water Park in June last year.
She asked the man to delete the photos but he refused, saying it was was his right as they were in a public place. Police later told her there was nothing they could do.
At the time, Julia told ITV News that the incident made her feel ‘violated’ and ‘powerless’, saying: “He captured something of me and my daughter and I felt so violated. I just felt so shocked, powerless, I didn’t know what to do.”
It was then that Julia decided to fight for change, with her spending her maternity leave campaigning to change the law.
And her efforts weren’t in vain, as a new breastfeeding voyeurism offence carrying sentences of up to two years behind bars comes into force this week.
To be guilty of the offence, the perpetrator must be acting for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification or of humiliating, alarming or distressing the victim.
The new law, added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts act, builds on existing offences of voyeurism which banned ‘upskirting’, where offenders take a picture under someones clothes without them knowing.
Julia’s campaign was backed by Labour MP for Withington Jeff Smith under the slogan ‘Stop the Breast Pest’, and he welcomed yesterday’s law change.
Smith said: “Mothers should be able to feel comfortable breastfeeding. They shouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable by someone taking these kind of photographs without their consent.
“Everybody I have spoken to says the same thing: I can’t believe this isn’t illegal. It’s a fairly simple change to the law that we think we can make and it will protect women.”
Julia said back in January, when the law was passed: “This change in the law is hopefully a reassurance for mothers to feel like they can get out the house and feed their kids wherever they want.
“The law will be there to catch them if they are unfortunate enough to meet a creep like I was.”
Teen girl who died after getting into difficulty in water is named
BREAKING: The teenager’s body was recovered overnight earlier this week
The teenage girl who died after getting into difficulty in a lake in Stalybridge has been named as Lucy Smith.
The fourteen-year-old’s body was recovered from water near Crowswood Drive in Stalybridge after emergency services were called out at around 6:30pm on Monday (August 15th).
Police said the body was recovered overnight and was then formally identified.
A spokesperson for the Manchester South Coroners’ Court has now confirmed that a file in relation to Lucy’s death has been passed to the coroner.
An inquest will open at a later date. Police said they do not believe there were any suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.
Detective Inspector Steven Horton, of GMP’s Tameside CID, said at the time of Lucy’s death: “Yesterday evening’s events are nothing short of devastating and my thoughts are with the friends and family of the young girl who lost her life in such awful circumstances.
“We are doing all we can to support the girl’s family at this incredibly difficult time, and we are focused on ensuring they get the answers they deserve as to how this tragedy occurred.
“From our enquiries so far, we are confident that there are no suspicious circumstances and that this is such a sad reminder of the dangers of entering open water, whatever the weather.”
Man arrested after girl, 7, abducted and assaulted
A second man is still at large
A man has been arrested on suspicion of abducting and sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl in Droylsden, though the hunt for another man continues.
Police were first called to reports of an abduction at around 4pm yesterday (August 17th). They believe the girl was taken by a man on Warne Avenue and into a wooded area near the disused railway track towards Manchester Road.
There, the girl was taken to a van where she was sexually assaulted. She was taken back to the woods before managing to find her own way to a nearby park.
She has since been reunited with her family, and is been supported by specialist officers.
Last night, Greater Manchester Police announced that a thirty-five-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of abduction and sexual assault.
He was taken into custody to be questioned by detectives, who are ‘keeping an open-mind’ and continuing to hunt for another man who was ‘acting suspiciously’ in the area at the time.
Police released two pictures of the man, with the second image showing him on Gainsborough Road, heading towards The Snipe with his jacket removed around thirty minutes after the incident.
Anyone who sees the man should call 999, quoting incident 2270 of 17/08/2022. Other details – including sightings on CCTV, dash cam, or doorbell footage – can be passed to police via the LiveChat facility on the website or by calling 0161 856 9262.
Liz Truss says British workers need ‘more graft’ and lack ‘skill’ of Chinese workers
She was also heard saying workers outside of London have less productivity
Conservative leader frontrunner Liz Truss has been criticised after saying British workers need ‘more graft’ and lack the ‘skill and application’ of their foreign counterparts.
Just two weeks on from the backlash surrounding her plan to cut the pay of public sector workers in the north, audio obtained by The Guardian heard Truss discussing the work ethic and attitude of British workers and comparing them to those of foreign workers.
During her discussion, said to have taken place five years ago when she was the chief secretary to the Treasury, Truss could be heard saying: “I once wrote a book about this which got mischaracterised… British workers produce less per hour than … and that’s a combination of kind of skill and application.
“If you look at productivity, it’s very, very different in London from the rest of the country… this has been a historical fact for decades.”
She continued: “Essentially it’s partly a mindset and attitude thing, I think. It’s working culture, basically. If you go to China it’s quite different, I can assure you.
“There’s a fundamental issue of British working culture. Essentially, if we’re going to be a richer country and a more prosperous country, that needs to change… But I don’t think people are that keen to change that.
“There’s a slight thing in Britain about wanting the easy answers. That’s my reflection on the election and what’s gone before it, and the referendum – we say it’s all Europe that’s causing these huge problems, it’s all these migrants causing these problems. But actually what needs to happen is more… more graft.
“It’s not a popular message.”
A source from Truss’s team has attempted to downplay the audio, telling The Guardian: “These half-a-decade-old comments lack context but one thing that is as clear today as ever before is a need to boost productivity, which leads to higher wages and a better quality of life for workers right across the UK.
“As prime minister, Liz will deliver an economy that is high wage, high growth and low tax.”
However, when questioned about the audio during a Tory leadership hustings in Perth, Truss appeared to confirm she still believed British workers were not as productive as they should be.
When asked whether she stood by her remarks, Truss said: “I don’t know what you’re quoting there [but] what we need in this country is more productivity and we need more economic growth.”