Owners of a family-run owl sanctuary have slammed police after their car park has become swamped – with DOGGERS.
Staff say the secluded area at Screech Owl Sanctuary near Newquay, Cornwall, has become a haven for exhibitionist couples.
But despite fears that children could stumble upon the sordid antics police have refused to arrest those involved – because open air sex is “not an offence”.
Staff at Screech Owl Sanctuary, a haven for sick and injured owls, fear visitors will be put off by the “intimidating” behaviour.
The site is listed on a dogging website which urges participants to pull in and flash their lights to attract other couples.
Owner Tom Screech said he sees doggers visiting the car park near to his popular nature attraction several times a day.
He said: “The other day my wife and I went out to walk our dog. We turned around and there were three different cars parked up – all men.
“I think it could be really intimidating if you’re out on your own. It intimidated me.”
Doggers have also been reported at several mores locations around Newquay, including a National Trust car park and a popular tourist beach.
Chris Dods, landlord of the St Piran’s Inn at Holywell Bay, added: “I see people in the car park three or four times a week, usually at weekends after 11pm.
“They’re not dog-walkers – nobody goes for a walk at this time of night – so they’re either late-night fishermen, young boy racers, or doggers.
“It’s a massive car park, and apparently they go right into a corner at the back where no one can see them. I don’t go looking, but we do hear about it.”
Devon and Cornwall Police said dogging was considered anti-social behaviour but was not necessarily a criminal matter.
A spokesman said: “Having sex in a public place is not actually an offence – the offence is one of public indecency, or public nuisance – so it’s difficult to enforce any law.
“We cannot arrest anyone simply for having sex in a public place. We are aware of the issue, and we’ve asked officers to disrupt the problem.
“We say to people to tell the police about it and we’ll see how we can deal with it, but ultimately it’s not just down to the police, it’s also one for the local authority.”