Call for ‘dogging’ patrols

Prehen Playing Fields. (1904PG119)
Prehen Playing Fields. (1904PG119)

People are coming from “far and wide” to get involved in ‘dogging’ in Derry, a DUP councillor has claimed.

Maurice Devenney said he has been contacted by a number of people over recent days who claim to have stumbled across “lewd sexual activity” at Prehen and Ness Woods.

“One such incident was witnessed by a person out walking their dog at 3pm one afternoon, so these incidents are taking place in clear daylight,” Mr Devenney said.

“I am told that one person saw a male running around the woods with nothing on but a pair of stockings and suspenders.”

Mr Devenney said Prehen playing fields had been associated with ‘lewd sexual behaviour’ in the past.

“Concern was first raised with me about lewd sexual activity in the playing fields area of Prehen about two years ago and at the time I brought the matter to the attention of the PSNI.

“I thought the issue had been dealt with but in the last week or so it has been brought to my attention that there have been a number of people known to have witnessed what can only be described as ‘lewd sexual behaviour’ in the Prehen area and at Ness Woods,” he said.

“My information is that people are coming from far and wide to do this and I am told another place where it occurs is Ness Woods.

“These are areas frequented by parents out walking with young children in a place where adults believe they can safely let their children have a bit of freedom to run around and learn about nature and the outdoors.

“It is sickening to think that this sort of activity is going on in these places,” he said.

Mr Devenney said there is now an onus on the police and council to act.

He said if the land was Council owned he would campaign to have it gated off and appealed to the PSNI to step up patrols of the areas.

A PSNI spokeswoman said the Waterside Neighbourhood Police Team was aware of the concerns raised by Mr Devenney and would be making further enquiries with a view to keeping him fully updated.

“We would appeal to local people to report any suspicions they have and if vehicles are involved, note details of the vehicles and their registration numbers.

“The quicker we receive the information, the sooner we can act on it,” she said.