Nudists scaring children at beach

Rose says Ladies Bay is often the scene for lewd gestures and sex acts. Photo / Doug Sherring
Rose says Ladies Bay is often the scene for lewd gestures and sex acts. Photo / Doug Sherring
Locals near a popular hangout for naked sunlovers are relieved summer is coming to a close.

One disgusted resident said promises from authorities to crack down on miscreants at Ladies Bay, near the wealthy Auckland suburb of St Heliers, had made little difference.

Swinger websites and forums, such as Swing Lifestyle, listed Ladies Bay as an ideal location for casual sex in public.

St Heliers resident Rose, who asked that her surname be withheld to avoid reprisals, said Ladies Bay was often the scene for lewd gestures and public sex acts rather than nudists minding their own business.

She said disgusting incidents marred her recent trips to the beach.

"There was a group of kids down there who wanted to do fishing and who turned up at the same time as us."

But the children left because of the unacceptable behaviour of a group of four men.

Rose also said that last year two naked men followed a woman walking with a young boy. The mother took her child to the next beach, Gentlemens Bay, and two men followed.

The beach is within a few hundred metres of a children's playground and Rose said she was concerned for kids exploring the rocks and beaches.

The beach even has a bad reputation with some naturists.

The online nudist beach guide Free Beaches says: "Of great concern to genuine naturists is the serious reputation for bad behaviour there, due to the combination of an aggressive local person promoting the place as 'adult' and inadequate policing of this person's activity over the last few years."

Another resident said she knew of no obscene incidents at Ladies Bay lately but she avoided the beach anyway.

On Friday last week an angry, naked, swearing man confronted Rose and the Herald on Sunday, but on Wednesday only clothed sunbathers and a man with a metal detector were there.

Naturist Rick Dowling said offensive behaviour was more common at isolated beaches. "If you go to places like Oretiti and Bream Bay, which is very popular with naturists, inappropriate behaviour is much less likely."

Dowling said an overseas solution was to have two people - one naturist and one police officer - patrol beaches.

Orakei Local Board chair Desley Simpson was unaware of any recent obscene behaviour at Ladies Bay and advised concerned locals to contact police or the council if they witnessed lewd activity.

In 2008, police promised to "reclaim the beach"after residents, naturists and other beachgoers reported regular run-ins with perverts.

- John Weekes of the Herald on Sunday

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