Just How Far is 500 Meters?
Nudes’ brush with the law
29 June 2006
NUDISTS on Budleigh Salterton beach were moved along by the long arm of the law - after complaints were made that they had stripped off in the wrong area.
The police were called to Budleigh's nudist beach, left of Steamer's Steps, after a member of the public telephoned to say nudist bathers had shed their clothes outside the designated area. A sign at the foot of the steps says bathers must not strip off until 500 metres away.
PC Mick Jordan, who moved the nudists along, said there was a recurring problem on the beach with people taking their clothes off in the wrong area because many nude bathers were confused by the measurements set out on the signs.
Exmouth police also confirmed reports had been received of indecent exposure taking place on Budleigh and Exmouth beaches.
A nude bather from Exeter, who was moved along by PC Jordan, and who did not want to be named, said she first became aware of a police presence at Budleigh when bathers towards Steamer Steps started to stand up and put on their clothes.
The nude bather said: "People were really angry that a complaint had been made. All we were doing was sitting there sunbathing. We were not hurting anyone. Some of us have been coming here for years and have never had any trouble before.
"People have been sunbathing naked on Budleigh beach since the 1800s.
"We were all sitting 500 metres after the sign. One of the other nudists has even measured the sign and found that it was 650 metres away."
PC Mick Jordan said: "When I went along, there were several people within the family bathing area so I moved them along.