Rise in homophobic attacks at Brighton cruising spot

The number of homophobic attacks at a well-known gay cruising spot have risen in the past year.

Sussex Police said it had recorded an increase in the number of incidents at Dukes Mound, off Madeira Drive, Brighton.

No exact figures have been given out but it is understood the number of instances of verbal and physical homophobic abuse have been in their hundreds.

However the force claimed that after a spike in reported incidents in recent months it had launched a crackdown which had brought the situation under control.

Nick Antjoule, the force's Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans liaison officer, said the rise in attacks at Dukes Mound, used regularly as a meeting place for gay men, had prompted a concerted police response.

High-profile patrols have been taking place and officers have engaged with users of the area to identify suspects.

Seven people have been arrested and bailed with conditions banning them from returning to Dukes Mound.

Mr Antjoule said the number of hate-crime incidents reported in the area had since been reduced.

James Ledward, editor of LGBT community magazine Gscene, said the police response had been welcomed but concerns remained.

He said: "My concern is that, based on anecdotal evidence, less and less people are reporting incidents to the police, so even if the official statistics are down there is still a problem, not just in Dukes Mound but across Kemp Town.

"If you look at the figures they show that very few prosecutions take place following reports of homophobic incidents and I get the impression that is putting people off from reporting them. People are looking at it and thinking ‘why bother?’."

Mr Ledward said Gscene was campaigning to encourage more victims to report attacks and would soon be setting up a section on its website to make it easier for them.

The police said before the recent spike the number of attacks reported in the last year had been down from previous years.

They have now returned to the same rate.

The amount of policing around Dukes Mound is due to be returned to its usual level for the time of year.

Mr Antjoule said: "It can be a real tightrope act to keep men who use cruising grounds safe while maintaining their confidence in us, so I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved."

Despite the spike there have been no major incidents reported and the Pride celebrations 10 days ago passed without any homophobic attacks.

Troy Perrin, a pizza delivery driver from High Street, Brighton, was jailed in December for four years for assaulting a reveller after Pride in 2007 and leaving him with a broken arm.

Comments (29)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:25pm Tue 11 Aug 09

cheezburger says...

'Cruising grounds'? If that means what i think it means are the police turning a blind eye? Not very civilised is it.
'Cruising grounds'? If that means what i think it means are the police turning a blind eye? Not very civilised is it. cheezburger

6:51pm Tue 11 Aug 09

TheInsider says...

I can't believe these men continue to put themselves in danger.
I can't believe these men continue to put themselves in danger. TheInsider

7:16pm Tue 11 Aug 09

BN1 says...

TheInsider wrote:
I can't believe these men continue to put themselves in danger.
I agree - but when you're thinking with your dick it must get very confusing. All those pubs and bars, clubs and websites and gay men still return to a dodgy dark spot on the beach. It's all a bit grubby really.
[quote][p][bold]TheInsider[/bold] wrote: I can't believe these men continue to put themselves in danger. [/p][/quote]I agree - but when you're thinking with your dick it must get very confusing. All those pubs and bars, clubs and websites and gay men still return to a dodgy dark spot on the beach. It's all a bit grubby really. BN1

7:21pm Tue 11 Aug 09

Donkey OT says...

A "Meeting place?"

So that's what they call it these days.
PMSL
A "Meeting place?" So that's what they call it these days. PMSL Donkey OT

7:34pm Tue 11 Aug 09

leebha says...

does the police force have a 'straight male' liason officer for me just incase I get a bit of abuse whilst trying to get hold of a girl on friday night?
does the police force have a 'straight male' liason officer for me just incase I get a bit of abuse whilst trying to get hold of a girl on friday night? leebha

7:49pm Tue 11 Aug 09

Finbar 1 says...

Do they also have a liaison office for the pensioners who get verbally abused by drunken chavs?
Do they also have a liaison office for the pensioners who get verbally abused by drunken chavs? Finbar 1

7:56pm Tue 11 Aug 09

Donkey OT says...

I doubt it.
I doubt it. Donkey OT

7:57pm Tue 11 Aug 09

Donkey OT says...

Finbar 1 wrote:
Do they also have a liaison office for the pensioners who get verbally abused by drunken chavs?
Extremely unlikely.
Unless you are a gay pensioner?
[quote][p][bold]Finbar 1[/bold] wrote: Do they also have a liaison office for the pensioners who get verbally abused by drunken chavs? [/p][/quote]Extremely unlikely. Unless you are a gay pensioner? Donkey OT

7:57pm Tue 11 Aug 09

TheInsider says...

Trying to "get hold of a girl in Shoreham on a Friday night" usually means giving a lady a battering, a stabbing and a rough up according to most reports in The Argus of what goes on in Shoreham on an average weekend.
I thought the town had its own force it had become so troubled.
Trying to "get hold of a girl in Shoreham on a Friday night" usually means giving a lady a battering, a stabbing and a rough up according to most reports in The Argus of what goes on in Shoreham on an average weekend. I thought the town had its own force it had become so troubled. TheInsider

8:31pm Tue 11 Aug 09

Finbar 1 says...

Donkey OT wrote:
Finbar 1 wrote:
Do they also have a liaison office for the pensioners who get verbally abused by drunken chavs?
Extremely unlikely.
Unless you are a gay pensioner?
Now that is interesting. Are there any statistics Argus ?
[quote][p][bold]Donkey OT[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Finbar 1[/bold] wrote: Do they also have a liaison office for the pensioners who get verbally abused by drunken chavs? [/p][/quote]Extremely unlikely. Unless you are a gay pensioner?[/p][/quote]Now that is interesting. Are there any statistics Argus ? Finbar 1

12:15am Wed 12 Aug 09

marinabloke says...

BN1 wrote:
TheInsider wrote: I can't believe these men continue to put themselves in danger.
I agree - but when you're thinking with your dick it must get very confusing. All those pubs and bars, clubs and websites and gay men still return to a dodgy dark spot on the beach. It's all a bit grubby really.
i love all the "gay" comments on here, the fact of the matter is most of the "gay" guys who use dukes mound are in fact probably married "str8" blokes who like to get their rocks off somewhere the wife can't find out about it...
[quote][p][bold]BN1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TheInsider[/bold] wrote: I can't believe these men continue to put themselves in danger. [/p][/quote]I agree - but when you're thinking with your dick it must get very confusing. All those pubs and bars, clubs and websites and gay men still return to a dodgy dark spot on the beach. It's all a bit grubby really.[/p][/quote]i love all the "gay" comments on here, the fact of the matter is most of the "gay" guys who use dukes mound are in fact probably married "str8" blokes who like to get their rocks off somewhere the wife can't find out about it... marinabloke

3:52am Wed 12 Aug 09

John Steed says...

it doesnt matter if they are gay or straight, hanging around this area at night is a sordid disgrace to the city
as to the comment of keeping cruising grounds safe, surely the best was of keeping the area safe is to stop crusing.

by the way on the banned list is the word B ITCH without spaces,, not sure why such a bastion of the free press should have this form of automated censorship, another word is PU*SY meaning cat maybe Jo W would like to post a comment as to the reasoning behind this feature of the website also on how selection is made as to the items that can and cannot be commented on
it doesnt matter if they are gay or straight, hanging around this area at night is a sordid disgrace to the city as to the comment of keeping cruising grounds safe, surely the best was of keeping the area safe is to stop crusing. by the way on the banned list is the word B ITCH without spaces,, not sure why such a bastion of the free press should have this form of automated censorship, another word is PU*SY meaning cat maybe Jo W would like to post a comment as to the reasoning behind this feature of the website also on how selection is made as to the items that can and cannot be commented on John Steed

8:35am Wed 12 Aug 09

salty_pete says...

I wonder if the police also keep statistics on the number of prosecutions for indecent behaviour at Dukes Mound?
I wonder if the police also keep statistics on the number of prosecutions for indecent behaviour at Dukes Mound? salty_pete

8:40am Wed 12 Aug 09

Tye says...

And if they caught a man and a woman doing the same sort of activity I guess they would be arrested?

Natural Justice - treat everyone alike
And if they caught a man and a woman doing the same sort of activity I guess they would be arrested? Natural Justice - treat everyone alike Tye

10:10am Wed 12 Aug 09

Randy Lahey says...

leebha wrote:
does the police force have a 'straight male' liason officer for me just incase I get a bit of abuse whilst trying to get hold of a girl on friday night?
No, because you are not in a minority (through sexual persuasion alone, anyway)

Although, if you are receiving abuse, it is probably time to stop pulling fat girls in the Walkabout.

regards,

Lahey.
[quote][p][bold]leebha[/bold] wrote: does the police force have a 'straight male' liason officer for me just incase I get a bit of abuse whilst trying to get hold of a girl on friday night?[/p][/quote]No, because you are not in a minority (through sexual persuasion alone, anyway) Although, if you are receiving abuse, it is probably time to stop pulling fat girls in the Walkabout. regards, Lahey. Randy Lahey

11:20am Wed 12 Aug 09

brightonparty says...

Majority of men using this site are married and/or straight and using the rent boys on offer there. These rent boys are managed by older pimps. Gay men have plenty of places to get sex, Dukes Mound should now be off limits and Police patrols stepped up to discourage this activity.
Majority of men using this site are married and/or straight and using the rent boys on offer there. These rent boys are managed by older pimps. Gay men have plenty of places to get sex, Dukes Mound should now be off limits and Police patrols stepped up to discourage this activity. brightonparty

12:45pm Wed 12 Aug 09

Andre Spooner says...

Poor John Steed.

Jo, can you please let the man use the "foul language" option. He is very upset.
Poor John Steed. Jo, can you please let the man use the "foul language" option. He is very upset. Andre Spooner

1:02pm Wed 12 Aug 09

Jo Wadsworth says...

John Steed wrote:
it doesnt matter if they are gay or straight, hanging around this area at night is a sordid disgrace to the city
as to the comment of keeping cruising grounds safe, surely the best was of keeping the area safe is to stop crusing.

by the way on the banned list is the word B ITCH without spaces,, not sure why such a bastion of the free press should have this form of automated censorship, another word is PU*SY meaning cat maybe Jo W would like to post a comment as to the reasoning behind this feature of the website also on how selection is made as to the items that can and cannot be commented on
Hi John,

I've decided to blog about the comments, as I often get asked the same questions by people who haven't seen responses on other threads. you can find it here:

http://icanhaz.com/a
rguscomments

[quote][p][bold]John Steed[/bold] wrote: it doesnt matter if they are gay or straight, hanging around this area at night is a sordid disgrace to the city as to the comment of keeping cruising grounds safe, surely the best was of keeping the area safe is to stop crusing. by the way on the banned list is the word B ITCH without spaces,, not sure why such a bastion of the free press should have this form of automated censorship, another word is PU*SY meaning cat maybe Jo W would like to post a comment as to the reasoning behind this feature of the website also on how selection is made as to the items that can and cannot be commented on[/p][/quote]Hi John, I've decided to blog about the comments, as I often get asked the same questions by people who haven't seen responses on other threads. you can find it here: http://icanhaz.com/a rguscomments Jo Wadsworth

2:10pm Wed 12 Aug 09

leebha says...

Randy Lahey wrote:
leebha wrote: does the police force have a 'straight male' liason officer for me just incase I get a bit of abuse whilst trying to get hold of a girl on friday night?
No, because you are not in a minority (through sexual persuasion alone, anyway) Although, if you are receiving abuse, it is probably time to stop pulling fat girls in the Walkabout. regards, Lahey.
ha, you know me too well.....

Seriously though, the straight white able bodied young male does not stand a chance to get the sort of protection (and avoidance of the laws) that every other 'minority group' does.

all in the name of equal opportunities?!?!?!? lol
[quote][p][bold]Randy Lahey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]leebha[/bold] wrote: does the police force have a 'straight male' liason officer for me just incase I get a bit of abuse whilst trying to get hold of a girl on friday night?[/p][/quote]No, because you are not in a minority (through sexual persuasion alone, anyway) Although, if you are receiving abuse, it is probably time to stop pulling fat girls in the Walkabout. regards, Lahey. [/p][/quote]ha, you know me too well..... Seriously though, the straight white able bodied young male does not stand a chance to get the sort of protection (and avoidance of the laws) that every other 'minority group' does. all in the name of equal opportunities?!?!?!? lol leebha

2:16pm Wed 12 Aug 09

RickH says...

brightonparty wrote:
Majority of men using this site are married and/or straight and using the rent boys on offer there. These rent boys are managed by older pimps. Gay men have plenty of places to get sex, Dukes Mound should now be off limits and Police patrols stepped up to discourage this activity.
As someone who has availed myself of the 'services' of this area in the past, I never saw a single 'rent boy' or pimp or was asked for payment. Unless, of course, you know something the rest of us don't!
[quote][p][bold]brightonparty[/bold] wrote: Majority of men using this site are married and/or straight and using the rent boys on offer there. These rent boys are managed by older pimps. Gay men have plenty of places to get sex, Dukes Mound should now be off limits and Police patrols stepped up to discourage this activity. [/p][/quote]As someone who has availed myself of the 'services' of this area in the past, I never saw a single 'rent boy' or pimp or was asked for payment. Unless, of course, you know something the rest of us don't! RickH

2:53pm Wed 12 Aug 09

brightonparty says...

i used to do 'rave's there between 1994-2000. Once we turned up and i was met by a group of about 6 - 8 older men and several younger boys. They said we were not going to be doing a party there and were very aggressive. they were also trying to hide something going on in the arch. i set-up elsewhere but they rang the police to get us off. Each time after that they rang the police when we tried to party there. Eventually i decided to take it back and we had a brilliant party there despite the police being called (i reasoned with them and they let us carry on). BTW my mum is gay and i was on the 1st ever gay pride march (although i was only 3 at the time) so don't accuse me of being homophobic. cottaging is gross and no need for it now laws have changed.
i used to do 'rave's there between 1994-2000. Once we turned up and i was met by a group of about 6 - 8 older men and several younger boys. They said we were not going to be doing a party there and were very aggressive. they were also trying to hide something going on in the arch. i set-up elsewhere but they rang the police to get us off. Each time after that they rang the police when we tried to party there. Eventually i decided to take it back and we had a brilliant party there despite the police being called (i reasoned with them and they let us carry on). BTW my mum is gay and i was on the 1st ever gay pride march (although i was only 3 at the time) so don't accuse me of being homophobic. cottaging is gross and no need for it now laws have changed. brightonparty

4:32pm Wed 12 Aug 09

RickH says...

@brightonparty - you're right, cottaging (the procurement of gay sex in public toilets) is gross but the subject matter to hand is cruising ie the procurement of gay sex in public places ;) And the irony of someone engaged in an illegal activity complaining to the police of another illegal activity is quite amusing ;)
@brightonparty - you're right, cottaging (the procurement of gay sex in public toilets) is gross but the subject matter to hand is cruising ie the procurement of gay sex in public places ;) And the irony of someone engaged in an illegal activity complaining to the police of another illegal activity is quite amusing ;) RickH

5:13pm Wed 12 Aug 09

yorkie44 says...

Nothing in this report about the sex that is taking place. If there was no outdoor sex there would be no attacks. This area is a disgrace to Brighton. There is litter, used condoms, underwear etc, strewn everywhere. It is time the people using this area for sex. People have been banned from the area but not the ones having sex I nottice. Duke's Mound is now a no-go area created but the council's policy of "creating a safe area for cruising". It should be named Sodom and Gomorrah Mound.
Nothing in this report about the sex that is taking place. If there was no outdoor sex there would be no attacks. This area is a disgrace to Brighton. There is litter, used condoms, underwear etc, strewn everywhere. It is time the people using this area for sex. People have been banned from the area but not the ones having sex I nottice. Duke's Mound is now a no-go area created but the council's policy of "creating a safe area for cruising". It should be named Sodom and Gomorrah Mound. yorkie44

5:22pm Wed 12 Aug 09

Tye says...

The PC brigade really do bend over backwards (no tittering at the back please) to keep minorities happy even when they re breaking the law don't they

reminds me of 3 firefighters reprimanded for turning their lights on in a similar sort of area in the west Country - the firemen were reprimanded - the men doing the illegal dirty deeds were given an apology

i'm going to start reading the daily mail in future (if my bloodpressure can stand it:) as the argus comes across as a namby pamby apologist for many disgusting habbits but relishing in the hypochrisy of reporting it
The PC brigade really do bend over backwards (no tittering at the back please) to keep minorities happy even when they re breaking the law don't they reminds me of 3 firefighters reprimanded for turning their lights on in a similar sort of area in the west Country - the firemen were reprimanded - the men doing the illegal dirty deeds were given an apology i'm going to start reading the daily mail in future (if my bloodpressure can stand it:) as the argus comes across as a namby pamby apologist for many disgusting habbits but relishing in the hypochrisy of reporting it Tye

6:15pm Wed 12 Aug 09

John Steed says...

Andre Spooner wrote:
Poor John Steed. Jo, can you please let the man use the "foul language" option. He is very upset.
are you for real?
[quote][p][bold]Andre Spooner[/bold] wrote: Poor John Steed. Jo, can you please let the man use the "foul language" option. He is very upset.[/p][/quote]are you for real? John Steed

7:57am Thu 13 Aug 09

Tye says...

Tye wrote:
The PC brigade really do bend over backwards (no tittering at the back please) to keep minorities happy even when they re breaking the law don't they reminds me of 3 firefighters reprimanded for turning their lights on in a similar sort of area in the west Country - the firemen were reprimanded - the men doing the illegal dirty deeds were given an apology i'm going to start reading the daily mail in future (if my bloodpressure can stand it:) as the argus comes across as a namby pamby apologist for many disgusting habbits but relishing in the hypochrisy of reporting it
Just to clarify my POV

I am a gay man in my late 40s but find the sort of sexual behaviour that does happen in this area unacceptable and the Police should take action (PC gone mad?) or do they want to be "friends" with the gay "community" the way bad parents want to be friends first with their kids or maybe terrified of being called the equivalent of institutionally racist again so take no action (as happens with travellers ?)

I also abhor homophobic behaviour!

No one should be threatened verbally or physically for what they are!
[quote][p][bold]Tye[/bold] wrote: The PC brigade really do bend over backwards (no tittering at the back please) to keep minorities happy even when they re breaking the law don't they reminds me of 3 firefighters reprimanded for turning their lights on in a similar sort of area in the west Country - the firemen were reprimanded - the men doing the illegal dirty deeds were given an apology i'm going to start reading the daily mail in future (if my bloodpressure can stand it:) as the argus comes across as a namby pamby apologist for many disgusting habbits but relishing in the hypochrisy of reporting it[/p][/quote]Just to clarify my POV I am a gay man in my late 40s but find the sort of sexual behaviour that does happen in this area unacceptable and the Police should take action (PC gone mad?) or do they want to be "friends" with the gay "community" the way bad parents want to be friends first with their kids or maybe terrified of being called the equivalent of institutionally racist again so take no action (as happens with travellers ?) I also abhor homophobic behaviour! No one should be threatened verbally or physically for what they are! Tye

6:58pm Fri 14 Aug 09

Brightonscouse2 says...

I must have missed the law where it's illegal for a man and a woman to engage in a sexual act in a public place but apparently not if your of the same sex. If homosexual people want equality how about adhering to the laws laid out for everyone. I could bet if i got caught having sex with my girlfriend in a public place the police would be called and we'd be arrested under the public decency act.
Homophobia is wrong and there is no excuse for it but with all due respect these men put themselves in a vulnerable,secluded place.
I must have missed the law where it's illegal for a man and a woman to engage in a sexual act in a public place but apparently not if your of the same sex. If homosexual people want equality how about adhering to the laws laid out for everyone. I could bet if i got caught having sex with my girlfriend in a public place the police would be called and we'd be arrested under the public decency act. Homophobia is wrong and there is no excuse for it but with all due respect these men put themselves in a vulnerable,secluded place. Brightonscouse2

8:09pm Fri 14 Aug 09

Andre Spooner says...

Oh, John Steed. If you could see me riding my Mighty Horse at speed along Brighton Seafront, you would not doubt that Andre Spooner is 100% real, solid and material. More sturdy than a bear, and more wiley than a powerful sloth with rapid movements.

I see that Jo has sorted out your little problems. I'm afraid you might have to press the "euphemism" button on your computer next time you need to mutter filth at passers by.

Just press Alt-F4, and it will come up with some kind of Argus friendly cuss-word to engage even the most froth-mouthed of free speech campaigners. Believe me, I know. My horse's mouth is often full of froth, and I tell you now, he sure doesn't mince his words.

Wow, my security word was "****-slur"! You couldn't make it up!
Oh, John Steed. If you could see me riding my Mighty Horse at speed along Brighton Seafront, you would not doubt that Andre Spooner is 100% real, solid and material. More sturdy than a bear, and more wiley than a powerful sloth with rapid movements. I see that Jo has sorted out your little problems. I'm afraid you might have to press the "euphemism" button on your computer next time you need to mutter filth at passers by. Just press Alt-F4, and it will come up with some kind of Argus friendly cuss-word to engage even the most froth-mouthed of free speech campaigners. Believe me, I know. My horse's mouth is often full of froth, and I tell you now, he sure doesn't mince his words. Wow, my security word was "****-slur"! You couldn't make it up! Andre Spooner

4:08am Tue 18 Aug 09

greenpaws says...

Everyone has a right to live their life the way they choose so long as they cause no harm to others. That principal should always be borne in mind when responding.

I'm not a fan of cruising grounds but I won't ask for it to be stopped just because of my preferences.
Everyone has a right to live their life the way they choose so long as they cause no harm to others. That principal should always be borne in mind when responding. I'm not a fan of cruising grounds but I won't ask for it to be stopped just because of my preferences. greenpaws

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree