Fresh complaints over dogging at Maidenhead Thicket

Grace Witherden


Half-dressed people getting out of vans and a naked man tied to a tree are some of the latest reported sightings at a notorious dogging hotspot in Maidenhead – sparking fresh calls for the public to report incidents to police.

Car parks in Henley Road and Pinkneys Drive at Maidenhead Thicket have again been the source of complaints on social media, with reports of people disappearing into the woods for sex and walkers discovering used condoms.

The area features on a gay cruising website rated four out of five stars as a ‘discrete woodland car park, full of men of all shapes, sizes and ages’.

The website says: “Anything goes. Normally, early hours of the morning and lunch times are the best to avoid the cops and get a bit of action.”

Melanie, a dog walker from Maidenhead who did not want to give her last name, told the Advertiser she contacted police but was told more people had to report the problems before something would be done.

She said: “It’s unacceptable. Lots of dog walkers visit the area and parents with young children.

“One woman saw two men jump into a van in the car park which had a child’s seat in the back, and I’ve seen the same man come out the woods dressed as a woman on two occasions.

“They should install cameras in the car park. If more people report it then the police will be able to patrol more.”

It is not the first time the area has been in the spotlight. In 2012 there were calls for tougher action by the council and police to tackle strangers having sex in their vehicles in the car park.

Cllr Simon Werner (Lib Dem, Pinkneys Green) has been concerned about the issue for a number of years.

He said: “It’s vital people phone the police to complain about it and email me.

“When I take my daughter blackberry picking we have to avoid the woodland would certainly get more than a blackberry there.

“I will be raising the issue with the chief constable in a public meeting in the town hall next month.”

Rachel Forsyth, lead ranger for landowner the National Trust, said: “We are aware of some anti-social behaviour at one of our car parks and are looking at ways to prevent this. We encourage all witnesses to contact the police immediately.

“There is regular work to clear litter and cut back vegetation in car parks and gathering points.”

She added: “We urge visitors to respect the environment and the rights of other law-abiding users to enjoy the site and continue to work with the police and the Royal Borough to do all we can to tackle this issue.”

Thames Valley Police said: “Our neighbourhood team is aware of community concern and takes incidents of this nature seriously.

“Thames Valley Police encourages anyone with any issues to report incidents at the time they are occurring to police on our 24 hour non-emergency number 101.”

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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