A dogger invited two young children to a ‘party in the woods’ while hidden on the other side of a garden hedge, it was claimed by one horrified resident at a public meeting in Skegness earlier this evening (Tuesday).
Around 30 Seacroft homeowners travelled to the Gibraltar Point Visitor Centre at 7pm after local coastal ranger Dave Miller set up a public meeting to ascertain the scale of the dogging problem in the Skegness community.
As well as the written account of youngsters being invited to a ‘party in the woods’, others at the meeting spoke of condoms being left on branches, lewd sex acts in broad daylight, and ‘extremely offensive verbal abuse’ from doggers caught in the middle of the act by passing walkers.
Mr Miller’s decision to try to organise a co-ordinated response to the issue follows years of eye-witness accounts and hearsay about men and women engaging in lewd sex acts and other anti-social behaviour at the Seacroft Marsh beauty spot.
He has also occasionally come across detritus left over from the illict trysts while walking in the dunes in the course of his job.
Hoping to bring an end to the sex and drug taking which have made parents wary of taking children into some areas of the Seacroft dunes, numerous parents and grandparents aired their own harrowing tales.
One person present wrote: “A man was chatting to my young son and niece through my hedge inviting them to a ‘party in the woods’.
Another resident said: “I’ve lived on Marine Avenue for 11 years and every summer when walking down the paths I’ve seen men in the woods.
“I call the police, they come out to the house and get me to fill in a form and questionnaire and promise to keep me posted, and then they [the doggers] are back a few days later and doing it all over again.
“The men haven’t even got the brains to try to hide away further in the bushes!
“And this is happening in the middle of a Friday afternoon in July”.
Hitting out at the lack of action in the past, one resident said that there had been an issue as far back as 40 years ago.
And another resident added: “It’s getting more blatant though - some of them aren’t even going into the bushes.”
Addressing the meeting, Mr Miller, said: “I’ve cleared quite a number of camps [in the past].
“I know some people get quite upset about it so I thought that there was maybe something I could do to help tackle the problem.”
He added that he thought the best way to reduce the problem was for the residents in the area to contribute towards a ‘centralised incident log’, which could then be used by police to target the area at times of the day, week and year when incidents of drug use, dogging and anti-social behaviour were at their peak.
Other ideas raised at the meeting included the possibility of forming, or re-forming, strong community bodies like a neighbourhood watch to police the area.
The possibility of permanent signs that could be erected, warning of fines etc were also discussed.
And Mr Miller also suggested the possibility of cutting back some of the bushes to make the area more open, and less suitable as a ‘hideaway’ for anti-social activities.
Those present at the meeting were also heartened by the number of people who had attended to air their views, and expressed the hope that even more people might attend another meeting, if one was set up.
It was agreed to look into setting up a follow-up meeting in early February, possibly on February 5th.
- For more reaction from tonight’s meeting, stay tuned on the Standard’s website tomorrow (Wednesday).