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Exposure, Voyeurism and Sexual Activity in public lavatory

Paragraph 66, 67 and 71 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 detail three further sexual offences relating to exposure, voyeurism and sexual activity in a lavatory.

What are the offences?

Section 66 details the offence of exposure.

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he intentionally exposes his genitals, and

(b) he intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress.

Section 67 details the offence of voyeurism.

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he observes another person doing a private act, and

(b) he knows that the other person does not consent to being observed for his sexual gratification.

(2) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he operates equipment with the intention of enabling another person to observe, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, a third person (B) doing a private act, and

(b) he knows that B does not consent to his operating equipment with that intention.

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(3) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he records another person (B) doing a private act,

(b he does so with the intention that he or a third person will, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, look at an image of B doing the act, and

(c) he knows that B does not consent to his recording the act with that intention.

(4) A person commits an offence if he installs equipment, or constructs or adapts a structure or part of a structure, with the intention of enabling himself or another person to commit an offence under subsection (1).

Section 71 details the offence of sexual activity in a public lavatory.

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he is in a lavatory to which the public or a section of the public has or is permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise,

(b) he intentionally engages in an activity, and,

(c) the activity is sexual.

Assistance with interpretation

Section 68 assists to define a private act for the offence of voyeurism.

It is clarified that a person is doing a private act if the person is in a place which, in the circumstances, would reasonably be expected to provide privacy and –

(a) the person’s genitals, buttocks or breasts are exposed or covered only with underwear,

(b) the person is using a lavatory, or

(c) the person is doing a sexual act that is not of a kind ordinarily done in public.

For the section 67 offence, a structure is defined to include a tent, vehicle or vessel or other temporary moveable structure.

For the section 71 offence, an activity is described as sexual if a reasonable person would, in all the circumstances but regardless of any person’s purpose, consider it to be sexual. 

The Court Procedure

The section 66 and 67 offences , are ‘either way’ offences meaning that they can be dealt with in either the Magistrates’ or the Crown Court. The maximum sentence available is that given in the Crown Court, being a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.

The Section 71 offence is a ‘summary’ only offence, meaning that it can only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court where the maximum sentence is one of six months imprisonment and/ or a level 5 fine.

Who Can I Contact For Advice & Help?

It is imperative that you instruct an experienced solicitor as soon as you become aware of an allegation being made. Crucially it is always important to have a solicitor present in interview at the police station whether it is an interview by appointment or under arrest.


Hamraj Kang
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

Helen Holder
0121 449 9888 | 07989 521210


34 St Paul's Square,
Birmingham, B3 1QZ

0121 449 9888


Level 1, Devonshire House, One Mayfair Place
Mayfair, London, W1J 8AJ

020 7936 6396


76 King Street
Manchester, M2 4NH

0161 817 5020