PICTURES: World Naked Bike Ride sets off
Dozens of protesters have bared all today (Sunday 3rd June) while taking part in the World Naked Bike Ride in Hastings.
Organisers say the event - which was last in Hastings in 2015 - was intended as an environmental protest as well as an effort to highlight cycle safety and body positivity.
However the event had caused some concerns among Hastings residents. Writing on the Hastings Observer Facebook page, reader Murray Greenhill said: “How is this allowed to happen? I don’t want my children being exposed to this. What is the need for it?”
Another reader, Lee Healy said: “This event is a complete joke. I’m sure I’m not the only one that does not want to see people naked on bikes in protest, knowing children can see them also.”Earlier this week Sussex Police confirmed it was aware of the ride and would be working with organisers to facilitate the event while keeping people safe and minimising disruption.
A police spokesman added that nudity is not automatically an offence but depends on the circumstances and intention of the person. Police said officers would be particularly mindful around children’s participation and would be giving close consideration to any safeguarding issues .
Inspector Aidan Cornwall, of Hastings police, said: “The naked bike ride is essentially a protest and we have to weigh up that right to a peaceful protest against the potential offence that may be caused.
"Any offences of outraging public decency or indecent exposure will be dealt with in the usual way. Officers will be assigned to police this event but will not be cycling."
The riders set off from the beach opposite the Carlise pub at 1.30pm.