POLICE have increased patrols at a popular gay cruising spot after a father and child walked by as a man performed a sex act on himself.

Dukes Mound, above Madeira Drive, Brighton, is a well known meeting place for gay people for casual sex and sexual activity.

However, Sussex Police has reported an increase in incidents in recent days – leading to more patrols by officers.

On Tuesday, the force’s LGBT team led by PC Rich Bridger and Rory Smith, Tweeted: “Still issues at Dukes Mound – 1 fixed penalty and several warnings issued yesterday afternoon. Please act responsibly! #zipitup.”

A force spokesman said the message was in response to daytime sexual activity reported by members of the public.

During the afternoon, a police patrol found a male engaged in a sexual act as others looked on.

He was given a fixed penalty notice for causing harassment, alarm and distress.

Several other people were issued with warnings.

Officers reported a number of members of the public passing through Dukes Mound at the time, including a man with a young child thought to be under five.

Being so close to the seafront, it is not the first time members of the public have stumbled across explicit activity.

In February last year we reported a 10-year-old girl and her parents had came across two men having sex in broad daylight.

The girl’s furious father said: “My daughter was traumatised – she’s only 10 and she shouldn’t have to see something like that.”

Earlier this year a Brighton and Hove City Council worker told The Argus they had been instructed to let the bushes grow at Dukes Mound to hide explicit activity.

However, a council spokeswoman said they regularly prune the bushes and clear pathways, adding that the area was cleaned daily and was adequately lit.

Speaking yesterday, PC Rich Bridger, said: “In response to reports of daytime sexual activity from members of the public, we have increased daytime patrols of the Dukes Mound area.

“These patrols will continue, and people breaking the law will be dealt with accordingly.”