Three Rivers Outdoor Club has slammed Durham Constabulary for putting them 'at risk of assault'
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Naturist club accuses Durham police of putting members at risk after Facebook post of nudity arrest

NatCorn
NatCorn

The claims come after a man was arrested following police receiving reports of a person walking around naked in the countryside and the information was shared one of the force’s social media pages

A naturist group has claimed Durham Constabulary has put their members at risk after posting a status on Facebook.

Three Rivers Outdoor Club has slammed the force following a Facebook post from September which said that a man had been arrested after reports of people seeing a man walking naked in the countryside.

Officers arrested the man on suspicion of outraging public decency after police received several calls from members of the public reporting an elderly man walking naked on Waldridge Fell in Durham on September 14 and 15.

The North East-based club said the post suggested public nudity was illegal and did not mention any reason for the arrest other than the nudity.

Police guidance says that passive public nudity is not illegal unless there is an intention to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The College of Policing said naturists only break the law if they “commit sexual offences or use disorderly behaviour that they intend to or are aware may be disorderly within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress”.

The club organises various naturist activities including countryside rambles and river dips across the region.

But those behind the club said the Facebook post was “discriminatory” and puts their members at greater risk of assault.

The Three Rivers Outdoor Club regularly holds outdoor walks and swims
Credit Uncertain The Three Rivers Outdoor Club regularly holds outdoor walks and swims

A spokesperson for the group said: “Our events are usually a liberating and joyful experience, but during one walk last summer, one of the ramblers had water thrown over them, whilst the assailant told the group that they shouldn’t be walking naked In public.

“It is wrong for Durham Police to post misleading reports that suggest that public nudity is illegal, and it puts us at greater risk of harassment in future.”

The post from Chester-le-Street Police said: “On Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th September we received a number of calls reporting a man walking around Waldridge Fell who was naked.

“It is wrong for Durham Police to post misleading reports that suggest that public nudity is illegal, and it puts us at greater risk of harassment in future.”

“Officers attended and conducted searches on both days. Yesterday afternoon, PCSOs who were dispatched to assist with the search located a naked man matching the description on the fell. The PCSOs detained the man until a police officer attended the location and arrested him.

“The man was subsequently taken to custody and has since been helping officers with enquiries.”

After carrying out their enquiries the man was subsequently released with no further action.

The spokesperson for the group said that although these incidents are “rare” it’s even more important to raise awareness.

He added: “I’ve been a naturist for 30 years and during that time one person came up to me and shouted abuse at me.

“These incidents are very rare but we want to get this message out there so there’s a greater understanding.

Continued… Read full original article…

Source: ChronicleLive

Original publication 3 January, 2021

Posted on NatCorn 17th January 2021

Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.

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