The independent London newspaper

Topless man told to cover up by ‘pubic space’ security

Public spaces run by private companies have "outrageous" regulations, says sunbather

04 August, 2017 — By The Xtra Diary

Darren Sager with his top on 

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet, a man relaxing on the grass on his lunch break decides to take his T-shirt off. No problem there, one might think?


Darren Sager was in Merchant Square, Paddington Basin, and did exactly that, when he says security descended on him.

He told Diary: “I was in the floating park, having my lunch. It was a nice hot day, it was sunny so I took off my T-shirt. Then I looked up, and there was a security guard standing there telling me to put it back on. He said it looked unprofessional but I said to him, well boxers and swimmers are professional and they don’t wear tops. “I thought it was outrageous.”

Few would have a problem with a spot of sunbathing on a patch of grass or sand, but Merchant Square is in fact a “pseudo-public space” – a privately owned bit of land open to the public to enjoy with its own set of rules and regulations.

Merchant Square owners European Land did not respond when asked what the dress code actually was for the space. Darren added: “I am a law-abiding citizen. I took my T-shirt off not knowing there are rules and the next minute I have people standing over my shoulder telling me I have done something wrong, when you think you are in a public place. It is very frustrating.”

Share this story

Post a comment