This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, Criminal Law, Family Law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Voyeurism Offences


In NSW, offences which involve or relate to are contained in the Crimes Act 1900 under division 15B of “Offences against the Person”.  Voyeurism means, or refers to, the act of getting sexual pleasure by watching others while they’re naked or engaged in a sexual activity.

The division contains the offence of voyeurism itself, as well as a number of related offences including filming a person engaged in a private act, filming a persons private parts and installing device to facilitate observation or filming. While not strictly contained in the same division, offences of ‘peep or pry’ as well as certain child abuse material related charges (where a person being filmed is under the age of 16) may also arise from such conduct.

Voyeurism offences include actions that are commonly referred to as upskirting, as well as or filming a person engaged in a private act without their consent.

Each of these types of conduct are capable of amounting to offences that fall under these part of the Act.

NSW courts treat these matters very seriously as offences of this type infringe on the privacy that all members of the community are entitled to. Further, offences of this nature have a sexual component which can cause further concern to members of the community and victims.

Voyeurism offence

In NSW, voyeurism is a serious offence with a maximum penalty of 100 penalty units and/or 2 years imprisonment or in circumstances of aggravation this offence attracts a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

Filming a person engaged in a private act offence

In NSW, filming a person engaged in a private act, is a serious offence that carries a maximum penalty of a fine of 100 penalty units and/or imprisonment for two years. If the offence is committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty increases to a term of imprisonment for five years.

The legislation also makes it an offence to install a device or ‘adapt the fabric of a building’ by, for example, making a hole in a door or wall that you can see through, if you do that with the intention of filming later on. It is an offence even if there has been no filming yet.

If you have been charged with a voyeurism offence, it is imperative that you seek expert legal advice immediately as each offence carries penalties up to and including imprisonment.

Each of the below pages contains further details of each offence.

If you require any information on voyeurism offences or any other legal matter, call Armstrong Legal on 1300 038 223 or send us an email.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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