Police target dogging problem in layby on A19 at Skelton

SORDID sexual shenanigans in a York layby can be revealed by The Press – as police take action to tackle the growing problem of dogging.

The layby on the A19 at Skelton, just beyond the city’s outer ring road, has become a magnet for people wanting to watch others having sex in public, according to a parish councillor.

He said evidence of their activities, including condoms and lubricants, was scattered in the road and nearby woodland.

“I went down there and the area is a public mess and a health hazard, with all sorts of paraphernalia from sexual activities, such as discarded Durex wrappers,” said the Skelton parish councillor, who did not wish to be named.

“We counted over 50. There were also soiled wet wipes and KY lube tubes and the paths into the area are well used.”

He said he also understood that drug dealing had been taking place there.

The councillor said he wanted the council to clear the lay-by of condoms and other litter and had also wanted North Yorkshire Police to include it in their patrols.

He said he had bumped into an ongoing police sting operation when he went to the layby to investigate the problem.

“They were actively doing surveillance and when we were chatting they advised me they had over 16 car numbers they were investigating,” he said.

He said he had heard that on one occasion in the past, a lorry driver who had parked up in the lay-by for a sleep was woken by people banging on his window, mistakenly thinking he was there for dogging.

A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police’s local Neighbourhood Policing Team said it understood the local communities’ concerns about litter being left in the area of the layby and the type of activity believed to be taking place there.

“There has been an increase in reports of incidents in the area, and we have responded by increasing patrols at the locations, gathering information and intelligence and have a problem solving plan in place,” she said.

“We are working with the relevant agencies to engage directly with those who may be involved. Our priority is to engage and educate and work to making it a safe area for all.

“We need members of the public to keep reporting incidents and information to us and encourage anyone who witnesses any suspicious activity in the area to give us call when the activity is happening. This enables us to take action, when it is absolutely necessary.”

Skelton parish chairman Joe Watt said the layby had been a problem location for many years and he had participated in a multi-agency approach to this some years ago.

“The key problem then was the participants straying onto Rawcliffe Landing and causing concern to the residents there,” he said. “The outcome was City of York Council’s construction of green metal fencing that keeps the activities isolated in the private wood, away from local residents and, in particular, isolated from Rawcliffe Landing households.

“This resolved the issues at that time, the problem was contained and I am surprised to hear it raised again.”

York Press | News