A metal fence installed to seal off a wooded area in York, notorious for dogging and cruising, appears to have been cut open.
The breach allows renewed access to the area from the layby in Skelton close to the A19.
The fence was put in last October with support from the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe and paid for by a grant of £18,000 from the commissioner’s community fund.
It came in response to complaints by some local people about the layby being used for sexual activity and drug use.
The ‘Friends of Skelton Layby Group’ said they would maintain the fence, including cutting back of vegetation and litter picking.
The layby was formed years ago when the A19 was rebuilt to straighten it out.
Ever since it’s been used not only by drivers taking a break but also as a place for people to meet up for ‘al fresco sex’.
The office of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner told YorkMix that they were investigating the damage to the fence and liaising with the local policing team to decide what action to take. We will update our story when we know more.
Activities at the site in the past have caused problems especially during school holidays and numerous visits from the police have failed to stop it.
However, YorkMix understands that the fence was proving a deterrent even though access was still possible further up the road. It was thought that the fence would restrict escape should the police turn up.
The law on dogging – known as cruising if it involves men meeting men – is not that clear.
Sex in public spaces, watched by other people, is not in itself a crime, but it can be if someone who may be offended by it, sees the act.
It isn’t illegal to be in an area with the purpose of meeting other people
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