Paedophile hunters protest water park's 'nude family swim' day

Paedophile hunters protest water park's 'nude family swim' day

A group of anti-paedophile protesters are picketing a nude swimming event, organised by British Naturism, open to adults and children of all ages. Campaigners gathered outside Waterworld in Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent, arguing that the event should be for over 18s only, and that participants should be required to submit to a background check.

The group, from the Facebook paedophile hunters group Paddy’s Exposure, arrived at the site at around seven in the evening, wearing branded t-shirts. Staffordshire Police attended to ensure the protest remained peaceful.

Talking to local news reporters, protestor Natasha Whitlock stated: "It’s a peaceful protest. We’re from the Facebook group Paddy’s Exposure which was set up to expose paedophiles. There’s going to be quite a few people coming and possibly some paedophile hunters. We are just going to stand and protest against it because it’s wrong on so many levels."

She added: "I know people who were able to buy tickets online and no background checks were done. Not all paedophiles are convicted. It’s exposing kids, anyone can buy tickets online and CCTV cameras won’t pick up everything. If my children were young I’d never take them to a nudist swim, it should be 18 plus because the children can’t give consent. They will be scarred for life."

Meanwhile, protestor John Lawrence stated: "This shouldn’t go on. It’s children, our children, and we don’t want to expose them to this. We don’t know what background checks are being done to check the sex offenders' register, and I don’t see how they can check their history.  I’ve not been here for long and there have been half a dozen men go in on their own."

However, Peter Wright, manager of the legal department at British Naturism, has defended the event, stating: "We have 9,000 members - an increase of 1,000 people since last year - and no-one who is on the sex offenders'register is permitted to join. Each year, we hold six or seven events and each one is a chance for like-minded people to get together and enjoy themselves."

He added: "Naturism is a philosophical belief in a natural, naked lifestyle, a healthy, wholesome lifestyle shared by millions in Britain and in Europe. The events we hold are very carefully managed. There is always a safeguarding officer at the swims and we work very closely with the police. We care for our children just as much as any other sector in society and so it is absurd for anyone to suggest that we would allow them to be abused for any reason."