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Are we being too prudish? THE DEBATE.

Byline: DAVID POWELL

A MAYOR and spectators were shocked when two men skinny-dipped in full view of hundreds of people, including many children, at a popular charity event.

Llandudno's Mayor Cllr Myra Wigzell was the official starter for the resort's annual Boxing Day Dip and was horrified when the men exposed themselves as they ran into the water by dropping towels which had been tied around their waists. She said later: "I wish to express my deep disgust at their behaviour. This is a family event and it was spoilt by this exhibition of public indecency. I reported the incident to the police who will take action if the identity of the perpetrators is established.

I assure members of the public that every effort will be made to avoid a reoccurrence this year."

Inspector Ian Verburg, of North Wales Police, investigated the incident. One of the perpetrators was identified as a student, 21. He was told to write a letter of apology to the mayor and Llandudno Lions Club. What do others think? YES Brian Taylor, of British Naturism Had the Boxing Day swim been organised 150 years ago, it would have been costumes that would have been the scarcity, not skinny-dippers. It was the Victorians with their infamous prudery, who promoted the idea of wearing clothes to go swimming.

There has been much reference to the law. Inspector Ian Verburg said officers will be present next year to ensure the "law is observed" while Cllr Myra Wigzell said: "It was breaking the law."

If these people had actually checked the law, they would know that no law has been broken. I would ask Inspector Verburg, which law will they be ensuring is observed next year? There is only one law which makes mention of nudity and that is section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This makes it illegal to "expose the genitals" with the intention that "someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress". It is the intention that makes it a crime, so the classic flasher breaks this law. Parliament sets the law and in his summing up on behalf the Government, Lord Falconer of Thoroton ended: "Finally, do we intend to catch the streaker? No, we do not. Do we intend to catch the naturist? No, we don't."

In a recent survey, 90% of respondents considered naturists to be "harmless" and 25% admitted to skinny-dipping. Families watch the World Naked Bike Rides around the world every year and no-one is harmed. What's the fuss about? NO Tenby Councillor Michael Williams I BELIEVE it was not a suitable place to go skinny dipping in front of families. It wasn't appropriate because there were young children present, although I think calling in the police is perhaps a little over the top.

We are not too prudish to object to it. As for naturists, it's a pity that places are being sullied by the dogmatic behaviour of a minority. They have their own beaches. I would be very concerned if my grandchildren had people who were exposing themelves to them. That could be considered to be a criminal matter.

Boxing Day and New Year's Day dips in places like Llandudno, Tenby and Saundersfoot, however, are very good for community spirit. They have grown like topsy. It's good fun. It's quite an event.

In Tenby, we have a problem with the community dying. About 40% of homes within the town walls are second homes. They are empty for several weeks of the year. Any event like these dips helps to bring people together. The dip in Tenby has been going on every year for 40 years. In Tenby the chief executive of the National Park Authority took part in ours and so brought some extra respectability to the event. Maybe the chief executive of Snowdonia National Park, whom I know, should do the same next year in Llandudno?

CAPTION(S):

One of the two naked Boxing Day dippers, discreetly covered on our page but not on the day, who caused the stir
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Jan 15, 2013
Words:675
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