Daylight dogging makes beauty spot 'no-go area'

Bradwell dogging site

Holy Trinity Church, in Bradwell, where claims have been made that people have been taking part in dogging sessions - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

Daylight 'dogging' is turning beauty spots around a medieval church into no-go areas, residents claim.

Footpaths around Holy Trinity Church, in Bradwell, Essex, have become a hive of anti-social behaviour that residents say means they can no longer enjoy the countryside.

Speaking at Bradwell Parish Council on September 13, one resident feared what her children might see while another recently had elderly visitors in their 70s who had been propositioned by one individual who had invited them to participate.

It is believed much of the behaviour that had been concentrated on a layby on the A120 has now moved to areas around the church in Bradwell.

One mother who lives in Sheepcotes Lane told the meeting: “It is horrible. You feel you can’t go for a walk with your children for fear of what you might see.

“My children are quite eco-conscious, they like going litter picking. But you can’t go litter picking if you might be picking up a condom.

“It is really intimidating, if you are a lone female going out for a run and your with children."

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Dogging - having  sex in public while being watched - is not illegal but it can be if another person sees the act.

There are also other offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 such as indecent exposure, public lewdness and gross indecency people could be charged with.

PC James Draper, a community safety enforcement officer who covers the Braintree district, said: “What we need to do is determine is what the behaviour is, what is illegal and what is the best course of action moving forward.

“The police is a very short term solution to any problem.

“We can go there and say we arrest ten people you’ll have people down there the next day and the next day. What we need to do is find a long-term solution."

Possible solutions to investigate included blocking off the access to cars, preventing parking or cutting down vegetation so there were less places to hide.

Clerk of the council Christine Marshall said: “We don’t want that behaviour close to the village and on the footpath.

“You can’t walk children down the footpath because you don’t know what you are going to encounter along there.”

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