London of course is an epicentre of the sex trade with dozens of clubs – many focused in key boroughs as the map above reveals. Just click below for information about every London Council:
Here we focus on just a few London boroughs. Please feel free to send us news of strip clubs in your area.
Camden has 7 strip clubs despite a policy that none are appropriate (a ‘zero policy’). All pre-existing clubs (which had been licensed like leisure venues) continued operating when strip clubs finally became licensed as part of the sex industry. What’s more, they were treated differently (and preferentially) to any potential new clubs in the licensing policy. No Camden clubs are allowed private booths/areas. Despite this several have operated private areas for years.
In 2018, Camden successfully challenged The Red Rooms in the High Court to stop its private booths (we provided evidence to the Council and, together with pressure group Object, ran a protest and petition signed by over 1,000 people). Of course, if the Council had abided by its own policy, this club wouldn’t exist and it wouldn’t have had to spend £10,000s of tax payers money in the Courts.
Like most other Councils, Camden feels it is safeguarding performers with rules that state they may get as close to punters as possible ‘just as long as there is no contact’.
Camden’s 7 strip clubs include:
- The flagship Spearmint Rhino (still operating despite prostitution exposed throughout the chain)
- The Griffin (dubbed London’s ‘seediest strip club’)
- 3 branches of Secrets (still licensed despite sexual contact reported as rife).
Sexual contact, sex acts, harassment and assault of performers, harassment of women outside and pimps scouting both inside out out have been reported by numerous sources.
Camden Council is due to review its entire licensing policy soon. We are calling for a genuine zero policy, all clubs closed and performers supported into safe, alternative work.
Ealing wrote its ‘sex venue’ licensing policy around its 3 pre-existing sex venues (strip clubs and sex shops). Its one strip club, LA Confidential, has been mired in controversy. It 2017, the Council allowed it to continue operating even after a bouncer was charged with GBH and the Met police stating the club places the public at serious risk of harm. Rather than keeping a low profile, the club then tried to extend its opening hours, lower the permitted age of performers and punters from 21 to 18 (as a human rights breach!) and to leaflet shoppers!
It was not until June 2018, the Council finally moved to shut down the club after a performer exposed the usual sexual contact, excessive fining of dancers and prostitution, which was then confirmed by undercover investigators. The Council is now to review its entire strip club licensing policy. Shockingly, it still thinks the location of this club, in the borough’s premiere shopping centre, is perfectly acceptable.
We are calling for the Council to introduce a zero policy and to stop licensing strip clubs.
Hackney, Islington, Tower Hamlets
Like Camden, these introduced a ‘zero’ policy but allowed all pre-existing clubs to continue operating. Tower Hamlets had 11 strip clubs. Thankfully, it now has only 5. Islington’s policy treats pre-existing clubs (which had been licensed like cafes) preferentially to any new clubs.
Westminster has a staggering 25 sex establishments (sex shops and sex cinemas), including at least 12 strip clubs in just one small area of the borough (Soho). How can that possibly be in keeping with the Council’s legal duty to work towards eliminating harassment, discrimination and victimisation of women?
In 2018, Westminster’s Windmill Theatre, the world’s ‘most respected’ strip club, was found to be full of the usual sexual contact and prostitution (because that’s the only way women in the industry make any money). Local campaigners had to go to the extraordinary lengths of hiring undercover detectives to expose this.
The same abuse is undoubtedly happening in every other Westminster strip club. We call on the Council to investigate, prosecute and seize assets if unlawful activities are found and use these to fund exit packages to get women out of the sex industry that the Council has allowed to flourish.
Contact Not Buying It