Dogging in Surrey: Number of known ‘public sex sites’ falls by more than half

Surrey had the highest amount of known “public sex sites” in the country in September 2016

The number of recorded “dogging” sites in Surrey has dropped dramatically.

In 2013 there were a known 93 locations which were designated by the police as ‘public sex environments ’ (PSEs) in the county, with the largest number in any borough at 16 in Guildford .

This meant the county had one of the highest numbers of “dogging” spots in the country.

The latest figures suggest the “known” PSEs has dramatically reduced – with a total of 39.

Previous figures provided by Surrey Police show that Reigate and Banstead had 13, and Mole Valley and Surrey Heath each had 12.

Of the remaining boroughs, Elmbridge had 10, Epsom and Ewell six, Spelthorne six, Tandridge five and Woking had seven, three in Waverley and three in Runnymede.

Now, Epsom and Ewell has six, Elmbridge and Tandridge only have three, and Spelthorne a mere two.

Mole Valley, Woking Waverley and Runnymede have apparently dropped off the map entirely with none.

Surrey Heath has 10 known sites and Guildford has “10-15”, according to police.

A known and controversial site in Guildford borough is a lay-by by the Hog’s Back Cafe , in the A31 near Puttenham .

The village’s parish council was given a £25,000 grant and control of the land in an attempt to deter the behaviour , which took place in a site that backs onto Puttenham CofE School.

Guildford MP Anne Milton expressed her shock when she visited the site with concerned parents in 2010.

In 2015, Surrey Police increased its presence at another known ‘dogging’ hotspot following reports of assault and antisocial behaviour towards users of the site.

Dog walkers at Ockham Common complained after seeing people using the site.

Other locations listed online include St Anne’s Hill in Chertsey, Horsell Common, Epsom Common, a layby in the A22 in Catherham Hill, Coopers Hill Lane in Egham, and off Lodge Lane in Dorking.

Previously Surrey Police has said the vast majority of known sites in the county are public toilets, where sexual activity is an offence.

The force said that while it is not illegal to engage in sexual activity outdoors , there are a number of offences which could result from this, such as causing alarm and distress to others, outraging public decency or exposure.

Criminal offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 include engaging in sexual activity in a public lavatory.

Exposure with intent to cause alarm or distress and voyeurism on people engaged in a private act without their consent are listed in the act as criminal offences.

In the past Surrey Police has said it works to tackle criminals who prey on people meeting in isolated spots to commit robbery or assault against them, and encouraged anyone who had been a victim of a crime to come forward in confidence.

 

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