The owner of a popular café says she’s plagued by doggers gathering just yards from where she serves lorry drivers their hard-earned fry-ups – and with the HGV driver crisis currently going on the truckers have enough to contend with.
Sharon Wherrett, co-owner of Big Baps café off the M62 near Brighouse in West Yorkshire says she sees “two or three doggers, guaranteed” every morning as she is serving lorry drivers their breakfast.
Sharon says the lay-by café has been blighted by “male doggers” having sex with each other just yards away.
She adds that a that the wooded area just behind her cafe is littered with sex waste, including bin bags full of used condoms and old mattresses that are used for people to have sex on.
“Most people think it’s funny,” she told Yorkshire Live, “but it’s actually really seedy. There’s a charity that comes down and puts condoms and lube in the trees.”
Sharon says there’s a great deal of public nudity at the site: “My daughter’s 21 and she came over once and said ‘mum I’ve just seen a dogger’ and I said to her ‘it could have been a fisherman’ and she said ‘mum he had his penis in his hand’, they just walk around naked.”
Sharon claims that she has repeatedly reported the issue to her local MP and the police, but said that the issue has persisted to the point where she now needs to warn people who go walking in the local area.
She said: “Families want to walk down there and we have to warn them ‘actually no it’s a male dogging site down there’ and we get homophobic comments, it’s just terrible.
Sharon stresses that if it were a heterosexual dogging site she’d “feel exactly the same – that just doesn’t come in to it, it’s the fact that it’s a dogging site.
She points out that there’s an hotel just 20 yards up the road, “I’m sure they would appreciate the business,” Sharon says.
She says most of the men involved come “from Manchester” to attend dogging parties behind the layby, and it’s having a real impact on her business, not least because lorry drivers often cannot park their vehicles in the layby.
The dogging parties are “massive,” she says. . “The truckers who do manage to park there on a night get propositioned, they knock on the cab and say ‘dya fancy a bit?’ there’s no women at all, it’s all men”, Sharon said.
And she said that this means that lorry drivers are often left without a safe place to park for their legally mandated rest breaks.
She said: “The main thing I’d love to do is for truckers to be able to park. They come in depressed, they’re away from their families and they want a warm meal.
“Obviously I don’t come to work for the fun of it, we lost my mum in the beginning of Covid and we opened about a week after we lost her. To see it come to nothing because people can’t come in it’s terrible – it’s just soul destroying.
“But then again the truckers, the plight that they have at the minute, they’re not getting the jobs because the conditions are so bad and then to not be able to get in for a meal…”