A FOOTPATH by a police station, fields next to an historic abbey and a famous Midland beauty spot are all on a list of sites where strangers meet for sex in front of seedy spectators.
The kinky practice – know as ‘dogging’ – involves adventurous couples performing sex acts in cars or in secluded areas while others watch.
The activity falls through a legal loophole – because it is not an offence to have sex in public unless it is witnessed by someone who is “outraged” by the goings-on.
That ‘get out of jail’ card means police forces and red-faced councils trying to crack down on the bawdy behaviour have had little success.
Sunday Mercury researchers have found hundreds of dogging sex sites spread across the Midlands, some of them in remarkable places.
They include a footpath between Homer Road and Prince’s Way in the centre of affluent Solihull, West Midlands – right next to the town’s POLICE STATION.
According to one dogging website, here there is a “small area to one side of the path which couples use, a classic dogging spot”.
In Gloucestershire, raunchy ramblers are getting their kicks in view of Tewkesbury’s 12th-century Benedictine abbey.
“On the vineyards behind the abbey,” suggest users of the site. “This is a quiet scenic location near the beautiful historic abbey. All types of doggers are present – single males and females, couples, gays, transvestites and transsexuals.”
In Staffordshire, naughty nights out continue on the picturesque Cannock Chase.
The beauty spot was made infamous by former Aston Villa star Stan Collymore who admitted visiting the area a dozen times seeking strangers for sex back in 2004.
“The best place to go is Cannock Chase,” reads the website. “There’s good mid-morning and afternoon activity with couples dogging.”
The authorities in Cannock say they know of the dodgy use of the popular nature spot and have had recent reports from worried residents.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We have responded to some recent concerns from local people about inappropriate sexual behaviour in the Cannock Chase area.
“However, there hasn’t been a significant increase in complaints about these incidents in recent years, and reports to the police about such activity remain very rare in Staffordshire.
“Our approach has been based on engaging with the community and those who use the area to highlight these concerns.
“This has included giving out leaflets in areas where activity is reported and sending letters to owners of vehicles seen for a second time.”
A Cannock Chase Council spokesman added: “It is not something we could comment on.
“It is a source of embarrassment to the area, to be honest.”
The doggers either arrange to meet online or simply turn up hoping to find some action.
But according to posts on one website www.doggingafterdark.com – which claims to have hundreds of members online at any time – a successful encounter is sometimes tricky.
A man who uses Cannock Chase writes: “I’m a young lad in a Fiesta so all the other doggers think I’m a boy racer.
“But I’m not. I’m 21 and just looking for people to have some fun with.”
A woman says: “I have no problem talking to people on the website but when I’m actually out, sat in a car park or something, how do I kick-start things when I’m on my own?
“I’m hesitant to start stuff. They’re hesitant to come over in case I’m just having lunch or something. It’s difficult.”
A helpful poster replies: “Try opening the door and just letting a bit more leg than usual show. If anyone seems interested, let your skirt ride up a bit higher. That should give them the encouragement they need.”