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Selbys in Holloway is gay sex meeting point

PUBLISHED: 10:09 03 February 2011 | UPDATED: 10:19 03 February 2011

Police

Police

2010 Getty Images

POLICE are stepping up patrols at Islington’s most famous department store amid fears that its toilets are becoming a haunt for gay men looking for sex.

Staff at Selbys, in Holloway Road, Holloway, called in the cops after repeated reports of randy men getting it on in the gentleman’s toilets on the first floor.

On January 11, a 45-year-old man was cautioned for outraging public decency in a public place after he was caught having sex act with another man in a cubicle.

Detective Inspector Trevor Borley, from Islington CID, said: “Selbys is a family store where people of all ages go shopping and this sort of behaviour is unacceptable.

“On this occasion the two men involved met inside the store and went to the toilets for sex. They were inside one of the cubicles when the store’s security went in and caught them engaged in a sexual act.

“That was the first time somebody has actually been caught and dealt with, but we know there have been men in there in similar circumstances on previous occasions.

“Store security and other people who work there have witnessed things going on and reported a number of incidents of this nature.

“Selbys seems to have become a meeting point for this type of behaviour, and we want to tell anyone committing this type of offence that we will not tolerate it.”

The department store, which was formerly known as James Selby, is named on website Cruisinggays.com as Islington’s number one meeting place for public “man on man” sex, known as cottaging. Of 40 cruising hotspots in the borough mentioned on the site, the popular department store is the only one given five stars out of five.

Its write up says: “Quiet toilets on first floor of department store. One urinal and one cubicle. Perfect when the Nags Head is too busy – take them here instead!!”

Highbury Grove School teaching assistant Debbie Davis, 48, who lives in Canonbury Road, Islington, and used to work at Selbys, said: “I’m absolutely appalled. I’ve got two kids and a grandchild on the way and if my son had gone in and seen or heard that people having sex I would have been absolutely horrified. I was certainly never aware of the toilets being used for that sort of thing when I worked there. I think it’s disgusting that people are putting it up on websites as a place to have sex.”

Selbys store manager David Bolton said “We are working with police to tackle this problem. We are a family oriented store and we want customers to be able to use the facilities freely and safely.”

Gay rights group Stonewall declined to comment.


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