Angry villagers fight back against 'doggers' plaguing Sabden beauty spot
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It is claimed Back Lane, which lies in a rural position between the villages of Sabden, Simonstone and Read, has been a hotspot for dogging for over 20 years - attracting those who like to have sex in cars or outdoors, sometimes in groups, with strangers looking to join in, or voyeurs watching from their vehicles.
Local walkers, cyclists, joggers and horse riders have recently reported a worrying rise in incidents that have left them feeling unsafe or intimidated on the country road.
Now, a Facebook group called Reclaim Back Lane, are urging villagers to be vigilant, careful and report any incidents to the police in order to deter perverts plaguing the beauty spot.
Campaigner and Sabden resident Mary Lee-Slade, said: "In just one month since the formation of the group, members of Reclaim Back Lane have reported witnessing indecent exposure, cruising, intimidation, prostitution, fly-tipping and the presence of used needles. The reports point to the fact that where one offence is present, others often follow. As a community we believe that these sorts of incidents should not be allowed to continue on our local lane."
The campaigners have enlisted the help of Read and Simonstone councillor and chairman of Simonstone Parish Council, David Peat, who attended the community walk and as well as broaching the subject at the next council meeting, he is also lobbying the police to take action.
“Local residents and others must be able to enjoy the peaceful countryside and their recreation without being pestered by others,” said Coun. Peat. “We have asked local folk to be vigilant, careful and report any concerns to the police. Following the group walk, the next step for Reclaim Back Lane is to continue collating evidence and to encourage other organised groups to use the area in the hope that their presence will drive away the lewd behaviour."
Meanwhile, Reclaim Back Lane car signs have been produced for legitimate users of the lane to display in their vehicles, so they can be easily differentiated and members are following a set procedure for reporting incidents.
To support the campaign, which has so far received an overwhelmingly positive response, please visit the Reclaim Back Lane Facebook page by CLICKING HERE