‘No complaints about McKee’s Dam’ - police

PSNI
PSNI

Police are not actively investigating complaints about illegal activity at McKee’s dam, because, they say, they haven’t received any.

The news is in contrast to reports in recent weeks that visitors to the one-time flax dam turned picnic site - near Dromore on the northbound side of the A1 carriageway - were complaining of intimidation at the hands of people seeking sexual encounters.

Moreover, despite the spot’s notoriety - long predating even its 2008 listing online as a meeting place for gay sex - the lack of complaints to police apparently covers a period of years.

That’s according to Chief Inspector Derek McCamley of Lisburn and Castlereagh District PSNI.

“Police in Lisburn have no record of a complaint from any member of the public in relation to sexual activity at McKee’s Dam, in recent months or indeed years,” he said.

“However, if a member of the public believes this activity is taking place, in the first instance they should contact police, as witnesses are required.”

Meanwhile, as The Leader recently reported, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Councillor Luke Poots is preparing a report for police on what he called the “explicit behaviour” at McKee’s Dam.

Just two weeks ago the DUP’s Mr Poots said more than 30 people had contacted him in recent months to report having been propositioned and intimidated.

“Mothers and fathers have approached me saying they cannot use the facility due to continual use of the facility for men to meet other men for sexual practices,” he said.

“McKee’s Dam should be a safe place for families and the public that wish to use it appropriately.”

Mr Poots condemned behaviour he said had led to others being inappropriately propositioned and intimidated, even “scarred for life”.

“This is illegal,” he said, “and the police need to step in and use the full force of the law to stop this.

“It is simply unfair that people cannot use this facility because of the misuse by others.”

In July last year it was reported that a banner with a Bible verse denouncing homosexuality had been tied to trees at McKee’s Dam.

Chief Inspector McCamley said then that police were unaware of any complaints in relation to that type of activity in that specific area.

At the time a spokeswoman for Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council said the local authority was likewise unaware of any problem and had received no official complaints in that regard.