No place to hide for Felixstowe perverts
PERVERTS will have no place to hide in Felixstowe's infamous seafront toilets once a £100,000 renovation project takes place.Every toilet door will be on the outside of the loos once the work is done – and if two men are spotted going into one cubicle, the police can be informed immediately.
By Richard Cornwell
PERVERTS will have no place to hide in Felixstowe's infamous seafront toilets once a £100,000 renovation project takes place.
Every toilet door will be on the outside of the loos once the work is done – and if two men are spotted going into one cubicle, the police can be informed immediately.
Council chiefs announced today that the Bath Tap block will not be demolished and rebuilt, but will be refurbished at a cost of almost £100,000.
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Suffolk Coastal council will employ contractors to carry out the work this autumn, once the busy summer season is over.
"The cabinet looked at schemes to demolish and rebuild the toilets and also a project to refurbish them," said a council spokesman.
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"Both schemes will achieve a similar outcome in design and should deal with the concerns over this block, and refurbishment will be easier to do rather than knocking them down and uncovering other possible building problems."
Once the work is done, people will not walk into the loos in the traditional way.
There will be a series of doors around the outside of the Victorian block, which is sited next to the prom at the bottom of Bath Hill, with doors for individual urinals and unisex cubicles.
Everyone will be able to see who goes into each toilet – which will be safer for young children, and will enable people to keep a watch for perverts.
This design was chosen specifically to prevent indecent activities, which councillors have been aware of for more than 20 years.
CCTV at the block has also not been ruled out, although there are no immediate plans for cameras inside or outside the toilets.
The Evening Star has joined forces with worried parents to clear out the perverts from the toilets, which are next to one of the resort's most popular family beaches and where many children play.
Parents want action now to stop the unsavoury incidents which have left them fearing for the safety of their youngsters.
Those who have spoken to the Star of their fears say the men brazenly go about their sordid business in the toilets, and there is a "triangle of evil" in which they watch for police and prospective customers, while keeping an eye on the loos.
Families say one easy answer would be to close the toilets earlier in the evening.
At the moment, there is no set time and they are closed at twilight. Officials say a balance has to be struck between providing a facility for genuine users and preventing offensive behaviour.
Felixstowe police said officers were aware of the toilets but there had been no complaints or reports received about the activities inside recently. The force would act if people reported their concerns.
If people see or suspect criminal activity, they should call 999 immediately.
n What do you think should be done? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street. Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or sign the petition form on this page, or call our Felixstowe reporting team on 01394 284109. Or have your say on the Evening Star web site www.eveningstar.co.uk