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Pervert concern from mums

PUBLISHED: 10:48 26 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 March 2010

TWO worried Suffolk mothers have today backed calls for perverts to be driven out amid growing concerns over indecent behaviour in seafront toilets at Felixstowe.

TWO worried Suffolk mothers have today backed calls for perverts to be driven out amid growing concerns over indecent behaviour in seafront toilets at Felixstowe.

One mum told The Evening Star how her young son disturbed a man when he went into the loos next to the prom at Bath Tap during a visit to the resort last year.

"He was shocked by what he saw," she said. "And then when he came out this old man came out a few seconds later with his flies undone."

The mother, who comes from the Hadleigh area, had not wanted her son to use the toilets at first.

"But we were on a day out and he needed to go to the toilet, so I had to let him," she said.

"I know this kind of thing happens in other public toilets but it left me cold – I certainly think you are right to highlight the problem."

Beach hut owners and beach users have become increasingly concerned about the activities at the century-old lavatory block, which is situated at the bottom of Bath Hill alongside a popular family beach used by mums and dads, grandparents and children of all ages.

Families claim there is a "triangle of evil" in which the perverts operate, keeping watch for the police from a low wall and on Bath Hill and acting as look outs for prospective partners and keeping an eye on the toilets from near the ice cream kiosk.

Another mother, from Ipswich, wrote to Suffolk Coastal Council after problems on the seafront two years ago.

"We have a beach hut down there and I have two young sons. We know what goes in the toilets and you see men darting between the beach huts trying to meet each other," said the mum, who did not want to be named.

"I wrote to the council asking them to take action. I suggested that one of the doors to the toilet should be boarded up and that the toilet cubicle doors were cut down in size so they couldn't hide in there.

"I contacted the chief executive, Tom Griffin, about this – but the letter I got back said there wasn't the money for this and also that the council did not want to be seen to be homophobic.

"I'm not homophobic, but I don't want people using public toilets in the middle of family beach huts for this kind of thing."

The mum said they used their hut most of the summer.

"We live down there in the summer holiday, and it isn't good what's happening there.

"Someone in a nearby hut was there one evening and saw a man running out of the toilet stark naked. That's not acceptable in a family area."

Her own sons had never seen anything upsetting in the toilets, but she was concerned every time the family visited their hut.

"It's bad for everyone who uses the toilets – some elderly men use them innocently after going for a swim, they could be vulnerable," she said.

Another visitor to the resort said he was "disgusted" by the state of the toilets.

"With respect to perverts using toilets, I was rather surprised at the response of the police. Since it is obvious such things are going on why can they not carry out an undercover operation themselves?" he said.

"Why wait for the public to do their job, when by the time they dial 999 the culprits could be gone. When the perverts don't know these operations are in force it makes them move on after a few arrests."

Police have said that if people see or suspect criminal activities they should dial 999. They had had no recent reports about men using the toilets for sex or indecent acts, but if concerns were reported –then these would be investigated and action would be taken.

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What do you think should be done?

Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

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