A crackdown dubbed Operation Muttley has been launched by police to tackle dogging at a Staffordshire beauty spot, police have revealed.

Covert police patrols and CCTV cameras will be deployed at Cannock Chase following a spike in reports of lewd sexual behaviour at the attraction. Operation Muttley has been formed to monitor and tackle people involved in inappropriate activity.

Details of vehicles visiting the venue will be logged to allow police to gather evidence against individuals.

And senior officers have today warned that anyone found to be committing a crime will be prosecuted.

Inspector Donna Gibbs, South Staffordshire local policing team commander, said today: “In order to address concerns that have been raised, and to keep our communities safe and reassured, we are conducting high-visibility patrols right across the area, and are providing information to visitors at the locations identified.

“We are seeking to both raise awareness of the problem and to deter any such inappropriate behaviour in the future in order to return the beauty spot to its former status, as a safe place for families to visit.”

Insp Gibbs said members of the community had raised concerns about the issue at Cannock Chase, which for many years has been recognised as a spot for dogging activity, during which people engage in sexual acts in public or watch others doing so.

She said there had been an increase of reports following improved weather.

Over the coming weeks, police will be handing out leaflets warning that the area is a location where dogging takes place. Owners of vehicles seen for a second time will be sent letters.

“It isn’t particularly nice for families or for people who are walking their dogs to find people engaging in this type of behaviour,” said Insp Gibbs. Anyone with concerns should contact Staffordshire Police on 101

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