Appeal for Information
Roger Burg writes:-
I’m a community member of Aurora, Croydon’s LGBT Police Focus Group (www.aurora-croydon.org.uk). I’m asking anyone across the country for help, or to give me some leads on this topic.
There seems to be a well defined pattern:
- A newspaper publishes an article about a certain cottage or cruising ground. (There may have been complaints, attacks or it may be completely false and inflammatory.
- The threats or actual violence follows.
- (The BNP, or worse, may be putting up stickers, gangs of shaven-headed youths may start to patrol the area, or there may be attacks or robberies.)
I want to produce a balanced and responsible document to illustrate the dangers of irresponsible reporting concerning cruising grounds.
There are several reasons why. One is that it is difficult for the police to ask an editor not to publish stuff like this without letting on that there is now a serious situation caused by his paper, last week. That only gives the editor a real story to follow up, which inflames the problem.
It is also worth asking how much damage is being done by 'gay' websites that publish list of cruising grounds, and thus offer easy prey to gay bashers.
At this moment there is also the opportunity of reducing irresponsible reporting through legislation. But there is no account of the dangers of publicising cruising grounds, and the press does, sometime, publish innocently.
So I’m really keen to collect examples of 1) publicity followed by 2) threats or attack,
The few police officers who would have been aware of both the publicity and problems arising from it, will have moved on all too soon. Those of us who work in police consultation groups get only a fraction of the information. And the reporting of incidents and threats is always low. LGBT stuff is lower, and cruising incidents very rare. So it’s hard to find anyone who has this information.
If you can recall this pattern (1) cruising ground publicised, (2) trouble increases, or give part of a story to follow up, please phone or e-mail,
Roger Burg -
Mobile 07880 794645
And a copy if you can to us at Gaymonitor – firstname.lastname@example.org