Law and Sexuality

A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests

Public Sex, Local Press and a Familiar Dance

It’s obviously been a quiet time for the press in West Suffolk as of late. They’ve turned to that staple of local journalism – finding and exposing cruising websites (quite why they go looking for these sites is a question they never seem to deal with) and shock horror – a local location is detailed revealing that people have sex in public places – near them! They are so outraged that it had previously passed them by until they found out about it on this website. This latest story has a brilliant quote from the Police in which once again, they get the law wrong stating:

‘A police spokeswoman said while sex in a public place was not an offence under the law, “any sexual activity in a toilet to which the public has access is a criminal offence, regardless of the sexual orientation of the offenders”.’

Well sure s71 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 does create a specific offence of sex in toilets as I’ve noted many times previously on here, in academic articles, and in evidence to the House of Commons, but there are additional statutory offences that could be applied – around exposure/voyeurism and (more likely) the common law could be applied.

Nonetheless, I welcome the approach of the Police of not getting bothered by these reports. The council responded to the journalists by saying they were not aware of any cruising. So looks like the journalists in another area will have to trawl a few cruising sites. Read the full story here.


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This entry was posted on May 15, 2010 by in Law, Media, police, PSEs, Sex.

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