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Join Studland United Nudists


Your rights when dealing with the police

Police email to organisers of the London Naked Bike ride confirming nudity is not an offence

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Also in "Nudists' Legal Rights"
Nudists' Legal Rights
SUN Nudists' Rights Card (Pilot & Update)
Five laws the police could use against nudists
Your rights when dealing with the police
What to do if challenged by a National Trust warden
Nudist Legal Rights FAQ
SUN's Legal Fund: Ready to support YOU in 2005


Use our Beach Report Form and tell SUN if you are harassed at Studland

The police can stop and search you without arresting you...

The police can stop and search you (or your vehicle) without arresting you. They must show you identification and tell you who they are and why they want to search you.

If you draw the attention of the police they may simply ask you to move on, or ask you some questions and make a note of your name. You must give your correct name, address and date of birth even if they are not arresting you. Be polite and cooperative without giving information that you do not want to divulge. Legislation allows courts to interpret 'a suspect's' refusal to answer questions as an indication that they were in fact doing something wrong.

If you are searched keep your cool (okay, so this may not be appropriate but we want you to know your rights!) and ask for a written record. You are entitled to make a note of the officers names and shoulder number.

Although you can volunteer to go to a police station you cannot be detained there without being arrested.

What happens if you are arrested?

Ask why you are being arrested. The police must tell you this. Make a note of the officers names and shoulder number. You are only required to give the police your correct name, date of birth and address and they may contact this address to check you live there.

If you are asked further questions you should say that you want to have a solicitor present before you answer any more questions.

Exercise your rights

You have the right to call a solicitor and one other person. This can only be denied in exceptional circumstances.

Legal advice at a police station is free at all times and you may be offered the services of a duty solicitor but they may not have experience in working with nudist issues.

David Martin of the Coast and Country club has an excellent track record of successfully fighting cases against nudists using an experienced solicitor in Birmingham and SUN is pursuing his colleagues locally. When we have this information we will publish it here, meanwhile, if you are arrested simply for being naked at Studland call the Coast & Country Club on 0870 458 2115 (8am to 8pm most days). SUN has a legal fund to support law abiding nudists. Asking for a solicitor won't make you look guilty and it's ESSENTIAL to have somebody on your side who knows the law!

Until you see your solicitor

  • DO NOT answer any police questions except to give your name, date of birth and address.
  • DO NOT make or sign any written statements or notebooks.
  • DO NOT plead guilty to any charges.
  • DO NOT accept a caution or warning - they may sound nice but their can be legal and employment repercussions later on if they are formally recorded as an admission of guilt.


If you are detained

You will be searched and your possessions will be listed and temporarily confiscated while you are detained at the station.

Ask to consult the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) codes of practice - these will inform you of your rights in custody, including your rights to food, drink and medical attention.

As a general rule you can only be held in detention UNCHARGED for 24 hours or at the very worst 36 hours for a serious offence.

Body Searches

If the police have reason to believe you may be concealing Class A drugs, or dangerous items, they have the right to intimately search your nose, ears, mouth or anus without your consent using reasonable force (courts have standards of what reasonable force means). However, this must be properly authorised and recorded.

  • In almost all circumstances body searches must be carried out by a registered nurse or doctor.
  • If you are concerned a search has not been properly conducted speak to your solicitor.
  • Be careful about resisting the search physically as you could be charged with assaulting the person searching you.
  • Intimate samples like blood, urine and seamen may only be taken with your signed consent and MUST be taken by a doctor or nurse.

After release

Immediately after release write down everything that happened, this may be useful as evidence.

Useful contact numbers and further sources of support

SUN Information Line - 01202 581207 (24hr answer phone)
Coast & Country Club - 0870 458 2115 (8am to 8pm most days)
GALOP Shoutline - 020 7740 2040 - Offers confidential assistance, referrals and support to gay and bisexual men in dealing with homophobic abuse or violence and the police.
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard - 020 7837 7324 (24 hours)

SUN Nudists' Rights Card (Pilot & Update) | Five laws the police could use against nudists | Your rights when dealing with the police | What to do if challenged by a National Trust warden | Nudist Legal Rights FAQ | SUN's Legal Fund: Ready to support YOU in 2005