Isle of Wight tourist spot as council closes gents toilet and makes the ladies unisex after spate of vandalism
- An islander said she was ‘confronted’ by men using cubicles with the door open
- Locals say toilets are in a poor state, with doors kicked in and broken plumbing
Locals on the Isle of Wight have said they fear pervert attacks after a council decided to designate a women’s toilet unisex.
The council advised men to use the women’s facilities after closing the men’s toilets due to a spate of vandalism.
But one islander said when she went to use the loo by a popular beach she was ‘confronted’ by two men using cubicles with the ‘door wide open’, which made her ‘uneasy and uncomfortable’.
And in a letter to the Lake Parish Council, Jeff Hewison, from Lake, said he would prefer the toilets near Sandown Beach were closed entirely instead of being unisex, and is concerned for his young niece if she needs to use them.
He said: ‘I went to use the men’s toilets at New Road in Lake and found a sign on the door saying to use the women’s toilets as they are now unisex toilets.
Locals are fearing pervert attacks after a council told men to use the women’s toilets
Lake Parish Council designated the woman’s bathroom as unisex, leading to reports that men are using cubicles with the door open
The Council said that it had closed the men’s facilities due to vandalism
Pictures show the toilets left vandalised with door hinges damaged and paper strewn all over the floor
The toilets are located by the popular Sandown Beach on New Road
‘My concerns are that if my niece goes to use the toilets (she is 12) and there is a pervert in there and something happens.
‘This is in no way acceptable, and to be honest, I would rather the toilets to either be fully closed or you open up the men’s again.
‘I think as a parent and as an uncle my concerns are in the right place and I suggest the men’s toilets are opened ASAP.
‘Many parents across the Island will agree with me.’
Linda Redfern, from Wootton on the island, said: ‘How did I miss the massive sign outside the toilets opposite the pier in Sandown?
‘I walked in to be confronted by two men using the first two cubicles with the doors wide open. I had to think for a moment – did I walk into the men’s by mistake?
‘I know I’m a bit long in the tooth, but I still felt very uneasy and uncomfortable.
‘I won’t go into the state of the loos. The only decent cubicle didn’t even lock.
‘I felt bad for our visitors on such a lovely beach day.
‘Why did I then feel compelled to hang around when a young girl walked in in her swimwear? Surely it shouldn’t be that way.
‘Many families use the toilets to change into swimwear.’
Commenting online, Jenny Sharp said: ‘[The toilets] are off the main walk route, secluded in their own plot, nice and easy for anyone to hide in or near.
‘Maybe whoever thinks this is a good idea will send their daughter to use the toilet, especially during the darker months. Because if they are willing to risk it, I most definitely am not.
‘The Island has become a pervert paradise, almost weekly we read of a paedophile being arrested.
‘Already we’ve heard of men urinating with the door open.
The toilets near Sandown Beach are regularly used by sunbathers to change into swimwear
Some residents said they feared letting teenage girls use the toilets alone
Other locals voiced concerns at the poor state of the loos, with reports of broken plumbing and doors kicked in
‘This is the most dangerous of situations and needs rectifying immediately.’
Teresa Woodward said online: ‘It’s outrageous. I won’t even let my young grandsons go to men’s loos alone.’
However, not everybody on the Isle of Wight agrees.
Eddy Jenner said: ‘Perverts are in all manner of places and are definitely not confined to public toilets.’
A lake Parish Council spokesperson today said: ‘Lake Parish Council are in the process of replacing the current toilets at New Road, Lake, in part due to ongoing vandalism.
‘New Road Toilets have been continually vandalised, with the plumbing broken in the Gents, doors kicked in and other damage.
‘Members considered closing the whole facility, but following resident representation, the decision was taken to try to maintain a provision, with the Ladies area to be used as unisex until the replacement toilets can be installed over the coming months.
‘Members discussed the options at length, and appreciate the issues, and continue to monitor the situation.’
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