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August 18, 2009

US columnist suggests using attack dogs to stop gay cruising

Filed under: Gay Cruising, Gay News — Tags: , , , , , , — cruisinggay.com @ 10:57 am

By Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk • August 12, 2009

parkCREDflickrusermeredithA newspaper columnist in Georgia has suggested using attack dogs to prevent men meeting for sex in public spaces.

Dick Yarbrough, a conservative columnist in the Marietta Daily Journal, proposed a “doggone solution” to the “boy-boy problem” of public sex in two suburban parks.

He wrote: “With a little instruction, dogs could be taught to severely dislike the gay lovers in Burruss and Wildwood and bite them in the fanny and do what City Council should have done years ago – chase them off to Atlanta where they belong.”

Yarbrough’s rancour also extended to smokers and mobile phone users, who he suggested could also come in for the dog solution.

“Assuming that works,” he added, “we will then tell the canines that cell phone users are really just possums with bad attitudes. The dogs will take it from there and then maybe the rest of us can have a little peace and quiet in Glover Park.”

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Anti-cruising website disappears after PinkNews.co.uk investigation

Filed under: Gay Cruising — Tags: , , , — cruisinggay.com @ 10:51 am

By Jessica Geen • July 17, 2009

pinknews.co.uk

cruisingcarsA website devoted to exposing the faces and registration numbers of people in gay cruising areas has disappeared following a PinkNews.co.uk investigation.

Earlier this month, we exclusively revealed that the website, cruisingscene.co.uk, was publishing the uncensored images, raising concerns over privacy and data protection.

PinkNews.co.uk cannot ascertain why the website has disappeared but understands that it was removed after our report.

GX Networks, trading as 123-Reg, is the company which processed the domain name registration. It declined to comment.

The anti-cruising website is currently under investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Set up to raise awareness of the “disgusting” practice of gay men meeting for sex, it focuses on the Haldon area of Devon, near Exeter. Local residents have previously complained about finding used condoms and tissues in the area.

It warns: “All over the country there is a disgusting underground world that most decent members of society have little or no knowledge of. This world is one where outwardly heterosexual men with wives and families at home go out ‘cruising’.

Several PinkNews.co.uk readers voiced their concerns about the website. One reader, who wished to remain anonymous, told us the site was “vile” and “homophobic”.

Stephen Loughrey of Carter-Ruck, a law firm which specialises in libel and privacy law, told PinkNews.co.uk: “In my view this is a gross invasion of the privacy of the people whose photographs have been published. The activity being reported upon here is consensual sex between adults. While it is distinguishable from the circumstances of the [motorsport boss Max] Mosley case (in that the activity being reported upon is happening in public), there is no public interest in publishing unpixelated photographs showing the car number plates and faces of those purportedly engaging in this activity.

“Although the individuals involved may not have a reasonable expectation of privacy while engaging in the activity, they have a legitimate and entirely reasonable expectation that photographs of them doing so will not be published to the world at large.

“While the activity may potentially constitute a minor public order offence (if for example local people have raised complaint), the degree of the intrusion into the private lives of those pictured is not proportionate to the public interest supposedly being served by the publication.”

Anti-cruising website publishes uncensored photos of faces and car registrations

Filed under: Gay Cruising, Gay News — Tags: , , , — cruisinggay.com @ 10:38 am

By Jessica Geen • July 9, 2009

pinknews.co.uk

cruisingcarsThe Information Commissioner is to investigate an anti-cruising website after an exclusive report by PinkNews.co.uk.

The website, set up to raise awareness of the “disgusting” practice of gay men meeting for sex, publishes uncensored images of car registration plates and faces of men allegedly involved.

Cruisingscene.co.uk focuses on the Haldon area of Devon, near Exeter. Local residents have previously complained about finding used condoms and tissues in the area.

It warns: “All over the country there is a disgusting underground world that most decent members of society have little or no knowledge of. This world is one where outwardly heterosexual men with wives and families at home go out ‘cruising’.

It adds: “Many of these men partake in unprotected sex with each other, indeed their preferences are advertised for all to see on the websites referred to above. They then obviously go home to their families and will resume ‘normal sexual relations’ within that home, passing on goodness knows what disease to these completely innocent people.”

Several PinkNews.co.uk readers have voiced their concerns about the website. One reader, who wished to remain anonymous, said the site was “vile” and “homophobic”.

He told PinkNews.co.uk: “What is really worrying is what … this sort of vigilantism can lead to. The Sexual Offences Act of 2003 was supposed to mean that we can now meet in public, but if we have to tolerate this sort of one-sided behaviour, then no real gains in our freedom has been achieved.

“Cruising areas, in rural areas especially, mean a place where gay and bisexual men can meet, as usually the surrounding towns and villages are poorly served by gay bars.”

Although the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) was initially unsure whether the site was breaching data protection laws, it is now launching an investigation.

An ICO spokesman told PinkNews.co.uk: “We will be investigating this website to establish if it is processing personal data and if so, whether it is in compliance with the Data Protection Act.”

One company, whose van was featured on the website with its registration number and company details clearly visible, said its vehicle was not in the area for cruising, adding it would be contacting the ICO to have the image removed.

Stephen Loughrey of Carter-Ruck, a law firm which specialises in libel and privacy law, told PinkNews.co.uk: “In my view this is a gross invasion of the privacy of the people whose photographs have been published. The activity being reported upon here is consensual sex between adults. While it is distinguishable from the circumstances of the Mosley case (in that the activity being reported upon is happening in public), there is no public interest in publishing unpixalated photographs showing the car number plates and faces of those purportedly engaging in this activity.

“Although the individuals involved may not have a reasonable expectation of privacy while engaging in the activity, they have a legitimate and entirely reasonable expectation that photographs of them doing so will not be published to the world at large.

“While the activity may potentially constitute a minor public order offence (if for example local people have raised complaint), the degree of the intrusion into the private lives of those pictured is not proportionate to the public interest supposedly being served by the publication.”

The website’s domain name is listed as belonging to the cartoon character “Scooby Doo”. But 123-Reg, the company that processed the domain name registration, told PinkNews.co.uk that they believe the name belongs to a Mike Rowland. The rest of the information they have on file is fake so it is difficult to trace him.

Professor Peter Sommer, a well-known expert in privacy and data protection at the London School of Economics, told PinkNews.co.uk: “If the pictures were taken in a public place, there is probably no protection the Information Commissioner can give. But there is possible protection under privacy rights in human rights laws, such as those used by celebrities who have been photographed with their children or worse for wear coming out of a nightclub. Whether there is a public interest is arguable.”

Local residents have previously complained about the issue of men meeting for sex in the woodland area.

In March, one woman told the Express & Echo she had documented more than 150 vehicles in one of the most popular sites.

“It happens at all times of the day and night and the litter left behind is disgusting,” she said.

“There are used condoms, soiled wipes and inappropriate literature all over the place.

“It should be a pleasant area where children can run around freely, but it is being spoiled by these people. I think the police are too afraid of being labelled politically incorrect to deal with it.”

Superintendent Richard Baker, in charge of policing the area, said it was a “complex issue” but added it was a low priority compared with violent crime.

In May, Lincolnshire man Colin Haw, 47, was given a four-month suspended prison sentence for a Section 4A Public Order offence.

He had filmed a motorist urinating at a cruising spot while shouting homophobic abuse and threats at him. Haw later posted the footage on a website.

PinkNews.co.uk contacted Exeter police but have yet to receive a response.

August 14, 2009

Man found dead in South London gay cruising ground

Filed under: Gay Cruising — Tags: , , , , , , , — cruisinggay.com @ 7:07 am

By Jessica Geen • March 5, 2009

pinknews.co.uk

policetapePolice have confirmed a man’s body was found yesterday in a Croydon park, South London. The area is well known as a gay cruising area.

It is believed the body is of Patrick Cloherty, 43, who has been reported missing.

Police went to the wooded area, known as Beulah Heights, to search for Mr Cloherty, who was last seen on February 24th.

The death is currently being treated as unexplained.

Mr Cloherty’s family have been informed, although formal identification has not yet taken place.

Officers from Bromley and Croydon Police are conducting further enquiries to ascertain the circumstances of the death.

The missing man’s work vehicle, a red Ford Transit, sign-written with “SEDDON” on the side, was located in Auckland Road, South Norwood.

Anyone who has seen Mr Cloherty should call Bromley Police Station 01689 891212, or Missing People on 0500 700 700.

Dutch park unveils signs to ‘warn visitors’ about gay cruising spots

Filed under: Gay Cruising, Gay News — Tags: , , , , , , — cruisinggay.com @ 6:54 am

By Henrietta Ronson • April 29, 2009

pinknews.co.uk

parkCREDflickrusermeredithA park in the southwest of Amsterdam has put up signs indicating areas where gay men are allegedly known to have sex so no one will be caught unaware.

Manon Koffiijberg, a municipal spokeswoman, told Agence France-Presse: “There are various groups of users of the park; people with small children who bathe on the beaches, those who walk their dogs, gays cruising and nature lovers.

“Things are arranged so that each group can relax in their own area without intruding on each other.”

“The signs clearly indicate what is happening in each zone; also those where gay men are known to practice ‘cruising’.”

“If you don’t want to be confronted by a vision of that sort, the signs allow you to avoid specific areas,” said Ms Koffijberg.

The De Oeverlanden park in Slotervaart, is known as a popular spot for gay men from all over the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe to find sex partners.

Ms Koffijberg maintains that though public sex is indeed illegal, the park had turned a blind eye for so long that it has become “gedoog”.

Gedoog is a Dutch word for tolerating unwanted behaviour.

Cruisers tend to keep their sexual activities to the confines of the bushes in the park and the new signs have been erected to ensure that unwitting visitors do not accidently stray into the areas.

Recently there have been reports of gay bashing in the Slotervaart area, which is populated by a large group of Muslim immigrants. Reports of robberies and violence against gay men in De Oeverlanden park are rife.

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