There have been a number of stories relating to cottaging recently. Last month there was a story in the Bolton News that one toilet block in the North West town was being closed after a raft of complaints relating to men engaging in sexual activity there. They announced it would be a “temporary” closure in order to “disperse” the men. The paper also managed to get a quote from the much respected campaigner Allan Horsfall, who is president of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. He is reported as saying: “The people I feel sorry for are people who need to use the toilets. This will not be eradicated until they get rid of all public toilets”. I’m not sure if he’s therefore saying get rid of toilets or, give up because you’ll never succeed in stopping this activity. Read the story at: http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/display.var.2056077.0.gay_sex_toilets_have_been_closed.php
Down in Surrey, it was announced that the toilets in which a 50 year old man was recently murdered are to be pulled down and replaced with a much more open environment: http://www.surreyad.co.uk/news/2023/2023049/stab_scene_toilets_to_be_demolished
Interestingly, this links in with Cockfield and Moss’ work in this area regarding the design of public conveniences. It is the most workable solution for those wanting to stop the activity. The question Bolton news didn’t ask and would have made an interesting response from Bolton police is where the men who use these venues are being dispersed to – commercial spaces, online or just other public sex spaces.