A “DOGGING” event is being planned on Canvey but police have insisted it is not “essential travel” and warned the public not to attend.

The website “Let’s Go Dogging” has shared that there are plans for a meet up on Canvey this weekend to its 26,000 followers on social media.

The site claims to organise “dogging” events - the act of watching sexual activity in a public place - in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa.

It has not disclosed where the Canvey meet up would take place, but Essex Police have said any such meet up would be against Covid rules and officers would be patrolling the island this weekend.

Norman Smith, leader of Castle Point Council, said no previous meet ups of this kind had been reported in the borough, and hoped it would be “stamped out”.

He said: “It’s something I have never heard of as an issue in Castle Point, and during this period of time it is totally against the rules and it’s not something we would want to associate with Castle Point at all.

“I am hoping that it’s the first time and that we can stop it before it starts.

“I certainly hope it doesn’t gain momentum in our area, I just think of young children being out and about, it’s not something you would want them to witness.”

Essex Police have urged anyone considering a social gathering on Canvey to “reconsider”.

A spokesman said: “At the moment, England is in a national lockdown and only essential travel is permitted, which is limited to travel to and from work if you cannot work from home, to shop for essential items, to care for someone, to attend a medical appointment or to attend education or childcare.

“We would urge anyone thinking of travelling for reasons outside of those covered, not to.

“We will be patrolling sites across Canvey over the weekend as part of our regular patrols.

“Covid-19 infection rates have been falling in Essex and we’d like to thank people across the county for following the government guidelines.

“However, the virus is still prevalent in our community so it’s essential that you continue to stick to the rules.

“The best way to control the spread of the virus, protect your loved ones and ease pressure on the NHS is to stay at home and avoid any unnecessary journeys.

“The vast majority of people are doing the right thing but, where clear and blatant breaches have taken place, our officers have responded to them.

“If you are thinking about organising a social gathering or making a non-essential journey, please reconsider, stay safe and stop the unnecessary spread of Covid-19. “ Police said they will continue to engage with people to encourage them to do the “right thing”.

Anyone concerned about breaches can call police on 101 or visit essex.police.uk.