Recently a post by a young woman on the Oxted Facebook Group alerted locals to the fact that she had actually been approached by a couple of men in the woods around the Kent Hatch Road carparks, asking if she was interested in participating in their dogging activities, or in their actual words, “up for it”.
Here’s what it’s all about and what you should do if you stumble across some illicit dogging activity while out on your daily walk…
For the uninitiated, dogging isn’t the practice of walking your dogs peacefully around the area (although that’s where the term came from)…it’s actually the practice of having sex in public (preferably leafy, woodland areas) while other people watch. It’s a big problem in South London and the Kent Borders and it seems to be on the increase in this area, particularly in the National Trust carparks along the Kent Hatch Road.
While the practise of dogging isn’t itself illegal, it’s pretty dodgy, and a shame that our lovely carparks and woodland are being spoiled by these goings-on, not least because the doggers leave their litter and used condoms in the carparks.
The various aspects of what dogging entails are illegal however. These include indecent exposure, public lewdness and gross indecency. And presumably soliciting as well, if they’re actually approaching people.
People caught dogging can be prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or under the common law offence of outraging public decency and can even find themselves on the sex offenders register.
We spoke to Tandridge Beat’s spokesperson (for Surrey Police) who urged everyone to always report any dogging activity straight away.
“Thanks for bringing it to our attention. It has also been posted on the local Oxted page recently. I would ask if people reported it at the time so we can deal – as much detail as possible, including vehicles (descriptions/number plates) if seen.”
Tandridge Beat has sent an email out to the Tandridge team to bear in mind the location on patrols. “There are other sites in Tandridge that were more regularly used, which we patrolled. This seems to have pushed the problem to other locations.”
Please report incidences with as much detail as possible. However people are advised not to confront participants or their vehicles.
Call 101 or use https://www.surrey.police.uk/ro/report/
It is unlikely that anyone is actually in danger when it comes to stumbling across this activity. Bit it could lead to an uncomfortable situation, so it’s best to be vigilant.