This is where you can be naked in public in the UK

By Lindsay Brown
Newsbeat reporter

Image source, Reuters

In Malaysia 23-year-old Eleanor Hawkins is facing a possible prison sentence and a fine for apparently posing naked on a mountain.

The engineering graduate from Derby is among a group of 10 people.

They are accused of stripping before taking photographs at the peak of the Mount Kinabalu on 30 May.

Politicians in Malaysia say the stunt showed "disrespect to the sacred mountain".

Image source, Emil Kaminski
Image caption,
The group are accused of stripping before taking photographs at the peak of the Mount Kinabalu.

But what's the law on nudity in the UK?

It's not an offence to be naked in public in England and Wales but it does become an offence if it can be proved the person stripped off with the intention to upset and shock. The complainant has to prove this.

In Scottish law there is no statutory offence, just the common law offence of offending public decency - a strand of the breach of the peace. The test is essentially the same as in English law, that a member of the public has been put in a state of fear or alarm.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service "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".

The naked rambler

Image source, PA

He likes to ramble in the countryside with no clothes on, even walking from Lands End to John O'Groats twice, but the naked rambler has had a pretty rough ride.

Over the past eight years Stephen Gough has faced repeated arrests, convictions and prison spells.

This week the former marine made legal history after appearing nude via prison video link at the Court of Appeal.

He's currently serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for breaching the order banning him from being naked in public.

The 56-year-old previously argued there was nothing intimidating about him appearing "in his natural human state".

Naked bike rides

Image source, Getty Images

Naked bike rides have been the norm for years now but they still cause of a bit of a stir.

The cyclists say it's a protest against car culture and oil dependency.

But last month police had to intervene in one naked cycling event after reports one of the riders got a bit "overexcited".

He was told to put his jeans back on before being spoken to by officers.

One witness told the Mirror: "Everyone was taking their clothes off to get ready for the ride. I heard gasps and I turned around. It was a horrible sight."

Naked on a plinth

Image source, PA

In 2009, a man stood naked on a plinth in London's Trafalgar Square as part of an art installation.

There was one complaint over Justin Holwell's nudity from ex-detective Mark Williams-Thomas who said his wife and children were "annoyed and upset".

He complained to police but the 24-year-old wasn't taken off the plinth.

A police spokesman said it was not a crime to appear naked in public.

Mr Holwell: "It's the human form, everyone's the same, it's not like I'm showing off something that no one else has got."

Sunbathing naked

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Nudists take part in the annual North East Skinny Dip as the sun rises at Druridge Bay in Northumberland.

Technically you can sunbathe naked on any beach but you may want to stick to good beach etiquette and to designated nudist beaches.

If a police officer or a member of the public asks you to cover up, you should probably do so, or you could be arrested.

Surprisingly, despite our climate, there are a few nudist beaches operating in the UK where you can strip off and not have to worry about those pesky tan lines.

Most of them are on the south coast but there is one in the very north of Scotland for those brave enough to bare all.

Meanwhile in Venezuela...

How do you show your support to the national football team in Venuezela?

Well, stripping off obviously.

Image source, Youtube

Eight television presenters from news website Desnudando la Noticia bared all to send a message to their national side who start their Copa America campaign against Colombia on Sunday.

Not sure if you'd get the likes of Fiona Bruce, Susanna Reid or Kay Burley doing the same here.

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