A WOMAN was bewildered when a waiter ordered her to take off her sun hat on a blisteringly hot day.

She was sitting in a pub garden on Saturday when she was told by staff that she must remove her hat so she could be seen by CCTV.

There was not a cloud in the sky and temperatures soared to 23C so the woman, known only by her Twitter handle of Trish G, took exception to the request.

Shortly afterwards the perplexed pub-goer messaged Sussex Police to see if the venue was within its rights to do so.

She said: “I’ve just been told to remove my sun hat whilst sitting in the beer garden at the Cornfield Garage Wetherspoon in Eastbourne due to CCTV and the police.

“Apparently my face needs to be seen by the CCTV according to Wetherspoon staff.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said the force has “no policy for asking licensed premises to request that patrons remove headgear and would not involve themselves in enforcement of any such requirement in individual premises”.

But a Wetherspoon spokesman said it was necessary for pub staff to ask customers to remove all hats when visiting any of its UK venues.

Eddie Gershon, speaking for the pub chain, said: “ We apologise for the inconvenience caused to the lady.

“However, customers are asked to remove their hats in all of our pubs and outside spaces.

“The reason is that if there is an issue in our pubs and we need to hand over CCTV to the police, then they are able to clearly identify people.

“This is not able to be done if people are wearing hats.”

A Wetherspoon spokesman said he had spoken with the manager of the Eastbourne pub who confirmed that customers wearing hats are asked to remove them.

If they refuse, they are asked to remove it momentarily and look at the CCTV camera, so that their face can be seen.

He said that “on the whole, people are happy to comply with either of the first two requests” but added that if they refuse to do any of this, they may be asked to leave the premises.

He said the manager claimed the police would not be mentioned to customers in such cases.

He instead believed there could have been a mistake and staff may have referenced policy rather than police when talking to the woman.

The spokesman also added that if a customer has a specific reason for wanting to keep their hat on, either for religious or health reasons, they are not made to remove it, just asked to look at the camera momentarily.

Wetherspoon’s dress code, displayed on its website, only lists one rule.

It requires customers to “remain fully clothed throughout their visit, including wearing shoes”.

But it also states: “Some pubs do operate a specific dress code at all or certain times.

“For information on these requirements, please speak directly to the team of the pub you wish to visit.”

The pub’s guidelines also say they “expect all customers to behave in a manner which is appropriate to the pub environment and is considerate to our employees and other customers.”