Sex-stop toilets watched


Police will step up surveillance patrols if men using the Lee Rd public toilets in Taradale as a sexual meeting place don't get the ``stay away'' message.
One businessman in the area said he had complained to police several times over the past few months.
``It's bad enough what's been happening but the toilets are right there by a bus stop schoolchildren use,'' the businessman, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
As police built up a picture, it became obvious the toilets had become a ``haunt'' for men seeking other men for what Napier CIB Detective Phil Sayers described as ``trysts''.
On Sunday a police unit staked out the area and were alarmed at what they came across.
``We were there for about 90 minutes and in that time seven or eight men arrived in cars.
``They would pull up and go in but then quickly come out again.''
Mr Sayers said the men would drive off but return a short time later and go back in - until there was someone else to meet there.
Some would sit in their cars outside for up to 20 minutes watching who was going in.
Police approached several men and while some tried to offer alternative explanations, which Mr Sayers said were not plausible, at least two confirmed it was a meeting place for men seeking sex with other men.
``We have warned them that it is a public toilet and a place for people to use for that purpose.''
Mr Sayers said the men ranged from young to middle-aged.
``The number of these people moving through there is phenomenal,'' Mr Sayers said.
``And it's not late at night stuff - this is during the afternoons - it can be any time.''
Police staked out the toilets from 2.30pm on Sunday.
A check inside the toilet block revealed graffiti in the form of messages and numbers to call to arrange meetings.
Police had spoken to the Napier City Council and the interior will be cleaned and painted.
The businessman said a staff member had gone into the block once - suspicious after five men had gone in and not come out.
Four of the five were locked in the two cubicles, he said.
He did not believe the block was used by the gay community as a meeting point.
``It's probably more married guys seeking a thrill, but it's the sort of place that will also attract paedophiles and just sickos.''
Police have begun noting car registrations and may re-angle surveillance cameras to identify people acting suspiciously.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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