Manchester Women Filmed by Voyeurs and Stalked Online: A Growing Concern

Manchester Women Filmed by Voyeurs and Stalked Online A Growing Concern
Source by theguardian

In April of last year, Maddy Laing and Phoebe Collin strolled along a bustling Manchester thoroughfare, relishing the warm spring day in vividly hued cycling shorts. Unbeknownst to them, a surreptitious individual was filming them with a device positioned surreptitiously below waist level. This footage, focusing intrusively on their physiques, was subsequently transmitted to Laing via an anonymous Instagram message captioned, “Hi this is you right?” The audacious perpetrator had recorded them at close quarters, capturing both their visages and bodies.

Laing and Collin felt a profound sense of violation and trepidation due to this invasion of their privacy. Despite promptly reporting the incident to law enforcement, immediate consequences were absent. Authorities advised them to report any future occurrences, underscoring the difficulty in addressing such clandestine voyeurism without more substantial evidence.

A Pervasive Problem

Manchester Women Filmed
Source by theguardian

The video featuring Laing and Collin is but one among hundreds clandestinely capturing women across the UK, primarily targeting those adorned in form-fitting attire and short dresses, filmed in public locales. The frequency of these incidents has elicited significant concern among women and law enforcement entities alike.

Law Enforcement Response

In response to escalating scrutiny, police have urged women to report such behavior, emphasizing the necessity of communal intelligence. Recently introduced measures, such as Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs), seek to mitigate stalking behavior preemptively. These orders can ban perpetrators from specific locales, prohibit victim contact, and prevent image recording.

The Home Office, acknowledging the challenges of proving such cases to a criminal standard, has modified the criteria for obtaining SPOs. Applications are now adjudicated on the balance of probabilities, facilitating action based on an individual’s word against another’s.

The Impact on Women

The prevalence of voyeuristic filming has profoundly affected women’s sense of safety and autonomy. At the Printworks, a renowned venue, incidents of covert filming are rife. Ella Gobson, a promoter, recounted a recent altercation where a man confronted another for filming his girlfriend. Such encounters, although occasionally resolved on the spot, underscore a pervasive issue that remains largely unchecked.

Women frequenting Manchester’s nightlife areas, such as Deansgate, are acutely aware of the looming threat. Faye Lambie and her friends articulated their unease about being filmed without consent, highlighting the fear of these videos being perpetually circulated online. This apprehension is echoed by many, including Violet Wray and her companions, who worry about the enduring repercussions of such invasive acts.

The Need for Societal Change

The Mohammed sisters and their cousin Athar Ahmed articulated a broader societal issue. They pointed out that while public filming is not illegal, the intent behind these videos is to objectify and victimize women. They called for a societal shift, urging individuals to denounce inappropriate behavior and support those affected by such privacy invasions.


The incidents involving Maddy Laing, Phoebe Collin, and numerous other women in Manchester underscore a disconcerting trend of voyeuristic behavior that undermines women’s safety and autonomy. While recent legal measures provide some hope for protection and recourse, society must also transform its attitudes towards such conduct. By collectively addressing and condemning these actions, we can strive towards a safer and more respectful environment for all.

Education and awareness campaigns targeting both men and women can play a pivotal role in reshaping societal norms and attitudes towards privacy and consent. Empowering women to speak out and fostering a community that supports victims can also create an environment where such behaviors are unequivocally condemned. By working together to elevate standards of decency and mutual respect, we can build a society that not only protects women’s rights but also promotes a sense of security and dignity for everyone.

What do you think?

Written by Zane Michalle

Zane is a Viral Content Creator at UK Journal. She was previously working for Net worth and was a photojournalist at Mee Miya Productions.

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