The Justice Secretary has said that he is taking advice over whether or not to make 'upskirting', whereby people take photos up the skirts of unknowing victims, into a criminal offence after significant public outcry.

Almost 65,000 people have signed a petition started by Gina Martin that calls for the practice to be added to the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 to make it easier for police to prosecute offenders.

On the petition site, Martin said that two men had taken pictures up her skirt without her knowledge while she attended the British Summer Time music festival in London.

"They sent them to each other and I saw it on one guy's phone. I grabbed his phone and ran to security who called the police," Martin wrote.

But five days later, Martin says that the Metropolitan Police said the case was being closed as "it's not a graphic image".

According to Martin, the practice would have to be prosecuted as 'outraging public decency' which needs two members of the public to witness the incident.

"But we want the law to specify clearly that this is a sexual offence with a victim, by adding this offence to the Sexual Offences Act 2003," Martin wrote. An update on the site said that Met police had reopened her case.

"The petition is really having an effect. Let's keep up the pressure to ensure the men are charged and prosecuted," she wrote.

The petition isn't the only pressure on government to change the law. Marc Jones, association of police and crime commissioners lead and deputy lead on victims and Dame Vera Baird QC called for a change in the laws in early August.

"The law, as it stands, is far from clear"

"The taking of these images is a disgusting practice that can have an extremely distressing impact on victims. In addition, the perpetrator then often compounds these acts by up-loading these images onto the internet," Baird said.

"The law, as it stands, is far from clear as there is no specific offence relating to the taking of pictures for sexual gratification without the victims knowledge or consent that covers this practice."

Speaking in the House of Commons, Justice Secretary David Lidington said: "I have taken very seriously the representations made not only by Gina Martin but from police and crime commissioners around the country," according to a report in the Telegraph.

Lidington went on to say: "I have asked for detailed advice of this but... before proceeding to a commitment to legislation I want to be absolutely certain this would be the right course to take."