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SHOCKING TRUTH: Crawley’s public ‘cruising’ spots revealed

This is not about driving around with your seat in an almost horizontal position and loud unintelligible music blaring out of your 12,000 Watt sound system.

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This is about men looking for sex in public places, something that many will be outraged about.

Whilst the idea of some outdoor fun may not appeal to some it does have a wide appeal to others up and down the UK and there are websites that help feed those who lust after it.

One of the most popular sites (which we will not name) even lists locations across the town with precise details such as best times, reviews and even a comments section.

Cowdray Forest, Buchan Country Park and Ifield Green are listed as the towns most popular outdoor areas best served late at night.

But while the woodland areas serve as obvious locations it is the less so ones which may cause some alarm to residents and visitors.

Four public toilets across town are advertised with one, the most popular, being in the town centre just down from the town hall.

The Boulevard Toilets in the town centre is among the most popular. Photo: Google Street View

The toilets on the Boulevard are listed as being most popular around 5pm during weekdays and lunchtime on Saturdays and warns visitors that it can get very busy.

Pound Hill Parade toilets. Photo: Google Street View

Another one is the Pound Hill Parade toilets, listed as being most popular during the daytime in the early afternoon although the site does say that previous visitors have complained that some are not cleaning up after themselves!

The third is the toilets on Gossops Green Parade which say they are popular all day.

Furnace Green Parade toilets. Photo: Google Street View.

Furnace Green Parade toilets gets a 3/5 star rating saying lunchtimes are the best.

But toilets and woodland walks are not the only places.

Several gyms and hotels are also listed around the town as are a service station and path from the town into West Green.

In-fact the West Green Alleyway is listed as being so popular in the late evenings that it is given a 5/5 rating.

But while some may read this with disdain it is worth noting that sex in public places is still becoming more and more popular, but what WILL concern people is the very public locations advertised that are used by everyday folk and families.

Now the law does state that a person is commiting an offence if they intentionally expose themselves to someone who would be alarmed or distressed.

It is also a crime to engage in sexual activity within a public toilet.

BUT the very fear of being caught is what many say is part of the driving force behind them doing it and don’t expect the police to be heavy handed with punishments. If there are no complaints from the public then the police are unlikely to get involved.

Crawley Borough Council and Sussex Police have been approached for comment.

Lifestyle

Disabled couples, pregnant women, families with young children all suffering in stifling heat with no running water. Where is this? Pound Hill, Crawley!

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It is something you do not expect to read about in Sussex. But the truth is that this is a very real problem for dozens of families right now in Crawley.

Residents in the Pound Hill flats at Milton Mount have had to endure this ongoing problem for months and now with temperatures at an all time high the stress has become unbearable.

‘How is this not a crisis that is at the top of the councils agenda’

The Crawley Council owned building has suffered from water problems for so long that some of the residents have been left with no-where to turn.

Calls to the council have resulted in positive responses but that’s it, just words, little action.

After pressure from ourselves action was finally taken yesterday and Mears, one of the councils new contractors finally brought bottled water to some of the residents yesterday evening and now they have confirmed they will continue to do so till a solution is found.

How is this not a crisis that is at the top of the councils agenda to fix?

Over the past weeks and months residents have lost count of the number of times they have complained and begged for assistance. The response? ‘We have logged your issue, an engineer will be in touch’.

Weeks later nothing.

‘a lottery game of whether they would be able to have a glass of water in the morning’

There is obviously a serious problem that needs to be addressed, but more worryingly there is an immediate problem which seems to be being overlooked. People need water to survive – not just live.

This isn’t just a case of having problems to wash, this is a health crisis and one that has only now begun to be addressed as a result of a resident contacting the press.

Since then we heard from couples, some disabled who woke up each morning to play a lottery game of whether they would be able to have a glass of water in the morning.

Another family who had to resort to washing their young children using baby wipes alone and who were relying on family members from other areas of the town to fill up water bottles so they can have a drink.

After we got in touch with some councillors they jumped into action with Pound Hill North Cllr McCarthy in particular making sure something was being done, but even they found ‘the system‘ hard to work ‘out of hours‘.

‘Mistakes happen, problems occur, but when a crisis hits and it is ignored it becomes so much more’

The main issue affecting two whole floors of the huge apartment building seemed to be a pressure one. So who was responsible? The council or the water company.

Guess what, it doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t!

Because the real issue is why it has taken so long to be sorted and why an intervention was required to help so many people who had been crying out for help for so long; but all calls were falling on seemingly deaf ears.

Mistakes happen, problems occur, but when a crisis hits and it is ignored or pushed aside as just a ‘problem’ then that is when it becomes so much more.

The actions of Mears as the new contractor demonstrating that it will not just sit back and ‘log complaints’ but will actually take action (albeit after some intervention) are positive, and whether they realise it or not, this could be just the opportunity they need to show how good a contractor can be to residents, residents who have felt for a very long time that they were always being ‘fobbed off‘ all the time.

But now questions need answering at the council about how it has come to this and how they will ensure this never happens again. This is certainly not the end, this is the start of changing how things happen here.

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