POLICE have stepped up patrols at a park in Nottingham following complaints that people are meeting there to have sex.
Officers have warned around 200 people about the consequences of engaging in sexual activity or indecent exposure at Colwick Country Park in the last year.
“My biggest concern is that you have young families walking around the woods where people are exposing themselves. They do not want to see that.”
Notts police say they have not arrested or cautioned anyone for having sex at the park over the last 12 months, but have warned people, taken car registration numbers and sent letters to homes and employers.
Inspector Mark Stanley, Notts Police’s neighbourhood policing inspector for St Ann’s, Sneinton, and Mapperley, said they felt they had to take action due to the level of concern among residents.
He said: “We have stepped up patrols in the area because it’s an issue people say matters to them.”
Dorothy Malloy, 62, who has lived in Candle Meadow for 35 years, said: “I do not like thinking about it happening near our own doorstep.
“I have seen the police riding their bikes patrolling, which makes me feel safer.”
A 47-year-old mum-of-three, who has lived in Candle Meadow for 25 years, said: “I’m aware of it because I have been to the neighbourhood meetings at the pub. I’ve heard the park’s on the internet as a place to meet, which is a concern.”
The woman, who asked not to be named, added: “It’s a nice community around here and there are lots of children who use the park.”
An online bulletin for Notts Police’s Sneinton Hermitage beat said the complaints from residents were about men meeting other men, although the area is also advertised on websites as a location for “dogging” — where people go to watch strangers engaging in sexual activity.
While there, one parked vehicle flashed its headlights at the reporter. There were also a number of other parked vehicles with one person inside.
Police have also sent letters about the issue to the home addresses and employers of individuals who are suspected of being at the park to engage in sexual activity, to deter them from returning.
Councillor David Mellen, a city councillor for the Dales ward, which covers Colwick Country Park, said: “This is a good example of neighbourhood policing in action, where residents raise an issue and police then take it seriously.”
A city council spokesman added: “We believe it may be happening in a part of the park which is not widely used by members of the public and so would like to reassure people who wish to enjoy the park appropriately that they can continue to do so without fear of their visit being spoilt by others.”
Anyone who witnesses any such activity in the park should call police on 101.