I'm not 100% sure about what exactly constitutes a Breach of the Peace in E&W, but I'm pretty sure it's not exactly the same as a Breach in Scotland (cue somebody copying and pasting rafts of legislation). Basically up north a BoP is when someone conducts themselves in a riotous or disorderly manner, which alarms, annoys or disturbs the "lieges" (fancy word for other people). Obviously it's pretty vague and broad so it's used a lot, sort of like the Public Order Act in E&W. So I don't understand how walking around in public naked COULDN'T consitute a Breach. Unless people were walking past without batting an eyelid and nobody phoned to complain (v. doubtful) then that's it.
Is a goth Breaching the Peace then if their dark make-up and violent-looking clothes alarms my grandmother?
Is a flamboyantly homosexual man Breaching the Peace if he alarms a strict muslim or catholic?
Is a transvestite Breaching the Peace if they alarm a religious person?
Is a hooded youth Breaching the Peace if they alarm elderly people?
The answer to all of these questions is, fairly obviously, no. In the case of the goths and hoodies it would take more than just clothes to alarm someone. Maybe clothes coupled with behaviour, demeanor etc. As for transvestites and members of the gay community, some people, especially from certain religious groups, may not agree
with their lifestyles and sexual orientation (like it's any of their business what other people get up to in private), but I doubt they would be alarmed
by it. Anyway, in each of these cases there's no element of rioutous or disorderly behaviour.
Its a question as to where are the bounderys of us being able to lead our lives how we want and when they affect other people. There is nothing *wrong* with the human body and logically why can't he walk around nude.... but it upsets (many) people's sensibilites.
Very true. You could say the same about obeying laws. At what point should my right to bomb up a busy street at 100mph be restricted on the grounds that it affects others? Fact is, when you're in public most of the things you do have some sort of bearing on other people. And yes, for some reason in our society there is something wrong with displaying the human body. At some point in time along society's development it's become unacceptable to show your naked body in public. Strange, but that's just the way it is i'm afraid! Sorry nudists.
Edited by andyhmv, 05 September 2007 - 09:26 PM.