A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests
For some, the annoying thing about cars is their tendency to move. So it is that when doggers – people who have sex in cars – are tackled by the Police and geographical/local government measures they tend to move somewhere else. The Halifax Courier carries a story that a Police clampdown on outdoor sex in a secluded part of Calderdale may have shifted the problem to the Calder Valley, councillors believe.
|Baitings Dam: A former dogging location|
There’s a rather wonderful quote from a local councillor who told the paper: “At long last it is an issue which is being taken seriously,” said Coun Geraldine Carter. “The amount of dogging at Baitings has diminished since the police began recording car number plates and sending letters to the registered owners,” she told the council’s 1,000th meeting. “But I believe these people are now moving to areas around Hebden Bridge, Luddenden and Todmorden,” she said.
What better way to celebrate a 1000th meeting than celebrating the writing of letters to doggers telling them how naughty they are? This letter writing technique seems increasingly common, and is an interesting way that the Police are navigating the law. It avoids any need to see anything that is criminal or even potentially criminal. It is – quite simply – a scare tactic based on recording your presence in a location, potentially prompting difficult conversations in the home as a letter with a Police logo is intercepted on the doormat by a child, partner or other household member.
The aim is to scare the crap out of people and move them on. As a tactical strategy, it has arguably succeeded in the past, at least reducing behaviour in the short term. Interestingly, this story suggests that people are taking heed of a specific warning relating to one area but not feeling deterred from their more general mode of behaviour. Nonetheless, one is surely bound to ask how Geraldine knows that people are moving to these spots? Is Geraldine busy surfing the web for dogging spots? Is she busy spying on dogging locations? Will we have to wait another 1000 meetings to find out?