Naked sunbathers told to warn their neighbours before stripping off in garden

Police urged baking Brits who want to sunbathe naked to warn their neighbours first.

Officers in Surrey said though it was not illegal to bare all it could cause unprepared witnesses distress or alarm’ – which would be a crime.

The force advised: "If you want to wander around your garden naked and you are overlooked by neighbours then you have to be careful.

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"An Englishman's home is not quite his castle and your garden is not exempt from the law.

"In an ideal world, your relationship with your neighbours would be such that they would not object to you gardening in the buff and they would never dream of calling the police.

"In the real world, however, you would be well advised to take some simple precautions.’’

They suggested going nude in part of the garden that is screened from view.

"You will have to decide whether your desire to be naked in your garden is more important to you than being on friendly terms with those around you,’’ the force said.

"No-one has the right to spy on you and if you find that your neighbour is leaning out of an upstairs window or standing on the top of a step ladder in order to see you then he or she may well be committing an offence.’’

The Crown Prosecution Service said: "In the case of naturism a balance needs to be struck between the naturist's right to freedom of expression and the right of the wider public to be protected from harassment, alarm and distress."

But British Naturism urged dare-to-bare sunbathers to say knickers to the neighbours in the sweltering heat – and whip it all off.

"There is no law against being naked in public, and so stripping off and enjoying the sun on your skin in your own garden cannot lead to arrest nor can your neighbours make you cover up,’’ the body said.

"Being neighbourly might mean you tell your neighbours that you plan to sunbathe naked but there is no obligation to do so, so don't hesitate.

"Studies have shown that spending time naked is good for you and so we encourage everyone to take advantage of the wonderful weather and celebrate their uniqueness.’’

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