A total of 32 people, including a police officer, have been cautioned as a result of a crackdown on cruising in a toilet block in Wallasey, Liverpool.

Six people were charged under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for the alleged sexual activity that happened in the toilets on Harrison Drive in the New Brighton area of the city earlier this year.

The police officer involved, who has not been named, was fined 13 days pay for the incident through the forces own disciplinary proceedings.

However the arrests have drawn criticism from the gay community, who claim that correct policy and procedure was not carried out.

Speaking to the Liverpool Daily Post and EchoMike Homfray, chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Police Liaison Group, an independent group funded by Merseyside Police, said: “There is a lot of unhappiness and I feel it did a lot of harm.

“Usually there are warnings put up by police for operations. This was not done. We have been following this quite closely. Policy and procedure was seemingly ignored.”

Merseyside Police have defended their actions saying it is standard practice to ask those arrested to identify people they engaged in the offences with.

Two of the six people arrested have pleased guilty to the offences, four are still awaiting trial.