Merseyside Police is increasing patrols at a Rainford nature reserve following an increase in reports of “inappropriate sexual activities”.
Officers are also concerned about the environmental damage being caused to the Sidings Lane Nature Reserve.
Neighbourhood officers and partners, including St Helens Council Ranger Service, are investigating various complaints of lewd acts, and a high volume of litter being found in the park, including items linked to sexual activity, police said.
Sgt Vicky Holden added: “This action is our direct response to reports from the public, and I would urge those using this area for illegal sexual activity to consider the distress and environmental damage that this causes.
“Many people attend Sidings Lane Nature Reserve to enjoy its beauty and tranquillity, including hikers, dog walkers and schoolchildren on nature walks. We will ensure that, along with our partners, we tackle any criminal activity to ensure that the area remains amenable to all residents, families, and the wider community.
“Those who fail to heed these warnings and continue to use the area for illegal activities will be identified and prosecuted. Key to this is information from the local community, especially in providing details of any suspicious vehicles and persons, so I would encourage anyone with concerns to continue to speak with us.”
Police launched an investigation in 2008 after receiving complaints the same location had become a favourite haunt for perverts engaging in outdoor sex games.
Letters and leaflets have already been distributed to local residents and people using the area, to advise them of the efforts being made to deal with these issues, and to encourage the reporting of any information.
Anyone with information can call their local Neighbourhood Team on (01744) 630943, contact 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.