Anger over beauty spot sex sessions

Cuerden Valley Park sign - the Wigan Road car park has been a site for dogging.
Cuerden Valley Park sign - the Wigan Road car park has been a site for dogging.
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Men are meeting up for sex in broad daylight at a local beauty spot’s car park.

Complaints have been made about “lewd” activities being performed in public at Cuerden Valley Park.

South Ribble councillor Paul Wharton said he had received “many complaints” about sex sessions in the Wigan Road car park.

He said: “I’ve been working with PC Stuart Rutledge from Lancashire Police diversity unit to try and resolve the issues – he’s tried posting in forums but to no avail.

“I’ve had a meeting with the park’s manager who stated that the issues had been going on for years and they have been unable to solve them.

“Basically men are meeting other men for sexual activity in public during both the day and at night.

“I’ve received complaints from residents who walk their dogs and have seen men during the day conducting acts in public of a sexual nature.”

The Farington East ward councillor, who said there was a care home nearby, added: “I completely deplore this activity in public.

“South Ribble Borough Council in conjunction with Lancashire Police have put up extra signage asking ‘is your behaviour suitable for public places?’

I’ve met with sergeant Mark Douglas from Leyland Police to talk about enforcement rather than education, which the police diversity unit is wanting to continue – it has been going on for years.

“Police are conducting regular patrols in order to disrupt and disturb the activity.”

Councillor Wharton has written to park manager Jim Longbottom, requesting that the gate to Stag Lodge car park be locked in the evening.

Mr Longbottom said: “We are aware of the problem. We’re a charity, we don’t have the resources to police it.

“I’ve no one to come down at 11pm and throw people out.

“I’ve been here 23 years and it’s certainly been going on since I started here.

“With the internet it’s easier for people to arrange meetings.

“The more resources you put into that side of the park – we’ve tried locking it – all it does is, it moves on to the next car park. We’ve got five of them.

“We get problems on the car parks with straight couples as well, not just gay people. We would just ask them to please keep away.”

Sergeant Mark Douglas, of Leyland Police, said: “The issues have recently been made aware to me. Patrols of the area have increased. We’re increasing patrols, particularly in the evening and at night time.

“From the information we’ve got, incidents during the day are extremely rare.

“We’re currently working with the local authority and will investigate further from a multi-agency approach. We want to reassure the public and ask them to contact us if they witness any such activity or any other criminal activity there.”