Police are launching a crackdown on rampant pensioners using restaurant car parks and woodland to have public sex, leaving used condoms and dirty tissues scattered in their wake.

Romping hotspots near Shirley Hills have been used by brazen love-makers for years and are ranked among the best locations in the UK on dogging websites.

But officers are taking action after receiving rising numbers of complaints of public indecency in Shirley Hills Road.

Constable Barry Swift, Heathfield ward officer, has policed the area for 15 years and said dogging had been a problem on his patch for as long as he has been on the beat.

And the saucy spaces of Shirley particularly seem to appeal to an elderly clientele.

PC Swift said: “If you Google it Croydon comes up as the third best place in the country for dogging.

“The people who are coming in take part in sexual activities are not just youngsters - we are looking at pensioners, which is quite surprising.

“They are committing offences, the place is littered with dirty condoms and tissues so it is really advertising that people are turning a blind eye to it.

“If you’re going through the park with your kids and one of your children falls over in those tissues it is not very nice.”

Two car parks outside Royal Garden Restaurant and Karaoke Bar have become particularly popular.

One swingers website described the site as having “particularly good dogging action in the summer".

But there have also been complaints from locals and even some reports of sexual assaults, prompting a police action plan.

PC Swift said: “Both cars parks are being used. One side is specifically gays and bisexuals and the other side is for straights. It has been going on for years.

“It has got worse; recently we started getting some reports of sexual assaults.

"People are being jumped out on. We have had a person report a man masturbating in front of her.

“We had a complaint from a dog walker who was going through [the park] with her children and she came across two men partaking.”

Heathfield officers are to meet with Croydon Council’s environmental team to decide how make it harder for lovers to hide.

PC Swift said: “Hopefully we will sort out a day of action and go down there and clean up the woods, trim and cut back the trees.

“We have been running plain clothed and uniformed operations in the woods, explaining to people that it is not acceptable and getting the word out and that is what we are going to continue to do once it is cleaned up.”

Vigilante groups have also sprung up in protest at the exhibitionist behaviour, with people taking matters into their own hands to catch doggers in the act.

But PC Swift warned innocent people are getting caught in the crossfire.

He said: “There is also a vigilante group who go up there and film people’s registrations and put it on YouTube. They have been relatively quiet lately but the videos still exist.

“The thing is we get people who don’t know what goes on in the car park who are innocent but getting their cars videoed and labelled as dogging.”