THREE men have been arrested on suspicion of blackmailing users of an infamous ‘dogging’ site in Shipston.
Police revealed last month there had been a number of what they termed “unusual” but linked incidents at a layby on the A429 Fosse Way close to Darlingscott crossroads.
In each incident, officers said, the victim had been parked up during the early evening, subjected to abusive comments and threatened before being made to provide a quantity of cash withdrawn from a local ATM.
It has now emerged, thanks to a reliable source, that the victims were using the layby for sex.
The layby has now been “shut” by Warwickshire Police to prevent further incidents.
Officers arrested three men – aged 20, 28 and 30 – on suspicion of blackmail on Thursday morning (February 9).
They remain in police custody.
The layby has frequently been listed on various dogging websites including ‘Swinging Heaven’ and ‘Parking Jour et Nuit’.
On being asked to confirm whether the layby was being used for ‘dogging’, a police spokesperson said: “We’re neither confirming nor denying that.”
Police are keen however for anyone who may have been a victim of a ‘similar incident’ to come forward.
Detective Inspector Rich Simpkins said: “We now have three men in custody and will be making further enquiries as part of our ongoing work.
“We’re keen to build a bigger picture of the nature of these incidents and would strongly encourage anyone who may have been a victim but has not yet spoken to us to come forward.
“We understand the local community’s concerns however we would like to reassure them we are conducting a thorough investigation.
“Any information – no matter how small it may seem – could help with our investigation so please get in touch.”
Anyone who can help is asked to contact the force or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting incident number 290 of 24 January.