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Incidents of gay sex in public areas drop

Police happy with results

The Ottawa Police Service’s tactic of contacting media about an ongoing investigation into men cruising for gay sex in public spaces may have yielded positive results.

Staff sergeant Chris Rheaume, who was in charge of the investigation, said that he was interviewed by several media organizations after Xtra’s article in November 2010. The article warned about an impending crackdown on public sex.

“I think it’s [the publicity] made a difference. We noticed a reduction for sure. For the time being it has reduced itself, so we are happy,” says Rheaume.

Rheaume told Xtra in November that the police had collected photos and video and were in possession of letters from people saying they witnessed masturbation, handjobs or oral sex in public bathrooms in the downtown core.

The police warned that, unless the behaviour stopped, they would start making arrests.