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Spearmint Rhino Sheffield has shut! Please tell the council to support all its former lap dancers, adopt a zero policy to the strip trade and tackle the rest of Sheffield’s notorious sex industry.



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Dear Licensing,


I am glad to hear the notorious Spearmint Rhino is no longer seeking to renew its license.


But I urge you to support its lap dancers both with alternative work/training and with mental health support, if needed. As ‘self employed’ workers, none have been entitled to furlough. Many will feel they cannot move out of the sex trade and will have turned to equally damaging and dangerous webcamming (a woman has even been killed through this by self asphyxiation).


Now is your chance – in fact the council has an absolute duty of care – to support these women out of the sex industry altogether, perhaps by taking advantage of initiatives like the Government Kickstart Scheme.


Please also now adopt a zero policy to Sexual Entertainment Venues to help ensure the city never licenses a strip club again, with all the harm that goes hand-in-hand with this, or your Swinger’s club (with 2 reported rapes, including 1 conviction and a prosecution pending trial).


Please also take the opportunity to adopt zero tolerance towards the rest of the equally visible local sex trade (Sheffield’s numerous brothels, massage parlours etc – some with their own TV shows), whilst fully supporting all women out. A hugely successful blue print for this already exists as this was enacted in Ipswich. This is a highly cost effective and achievable way to end the human misery (and the huge criminality) of the sex industry.


Thank you


UK Action

Sign Petition

150 incidences in 85 strip clubs (1/2 the entire UK strip trade).  And now independent investigations show that men buy sexual contact as standard in clubs from Manchester to London – even in the most ‘stringently, well regulated’ chains like Spearmint Rhino. Whistleblowers describe a catalogue of intimidation, harassment and abuse. It’s time to go strip free. Sign our petition calling on Councils, MPs and the Home Office for change.

Action in Your Area

Want to challenge a local strip club?
Contact us for support
Visit our Strip Club pages for background info and publications


Past Actions

Click Here



Bristol’s city centre strip clubs (SEVs) are applying to be relicensed, even though they cannot open due to Covid.

You Do Not Need to be Local to object

Use our pre-filled email and add any other relevant info
– Any relevant expertise (a sexual violence expert, GP etc)
– Personal experience of the harm of the strip industry
– Include your name and address (council should redact these)

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Re: Objection to Urban Tiger 20/03322/SEV and Central Chambers 20/03326/SEV

I object to the relicensing of both these strip clubs (by the same applicant) due to:

Inappropriate locality – they are near many places deemed inappropriate in your own licensing policy (in the city centre and near the university, transport hubs, places of worship, family leisure facilities etc). The council should be aware that numerous legal precedents have now shown that strip club operators have no legal grounds to challenge a refusal to relicense on these grounds.


Incompatibility with Equality law – The council must abide by equality law in all licensing decisions. And it is impossible to license an SEV and not contravene this as SEVs promote sex inequality, harassment and poor relations between the sexes, as numerous experts have stated. Two successful High Court cases against Sheffield City Council (a third pending) on the grounds of breach of equality law, further indicate this.


Please note, the harm done to many women in the industry (often not recognised until you leave) and to all in wider society is not ‘balanced out‘ by the supposed lack of harm to some in this industry. Nor by the fact that some in the industry state they chose it, it is their right or they enjoy it and find it empowering.


Further, it is not pro-equalities to license strip clubs in order to ‘keep women in work’ or ‘out of prostitution‘ or ‘stop the industry going underground’. In fact a large body of evidence, including from the Home Office, shows that the strip industry itself drives prostitution, similarly its high street presence drives the normalising of stripping in other ‘less safe’ venues, such as private parties.


The council should also be aware that it is not beholden to relicense these clubs simply because it has in the past. On the contrary, legal experts categorically state that relicensing should not be a rubber stamping exercise. Rather, the council is fully entitled to look with fresh eyes at every licensing hearing – that is why these are held annually. Legal expertise is also very clear  that there need be no material change whatsoever in order to refuse a license that was previously granted. Clearly Covid means there are very material changes now at play.


That is why I urge you not to relicense these venues. Instead the council should focus on supporting alternative, equality law-compliant, businesses AND ensure former lap dancers are employed there in new roles that do not involve them being bought as sexual entertainment.





You Do Not Need to be Local

Please include your job or expertise, if  you feel it might be relevant (eg teacher, GP, academic etc) and if you feel  unsafe, have been harassed or avoid the area around strip clubs



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To: [email protected]

Bcc: [email protected] if you like

you should include your name and address which the council should fully redact


Concerned about your personal details being made public?

Send to : [email protected]

The council made 700 respondents emails public last year and not all personal information was fully redacted. Although the Council  has reassured us that it has a new system in place, if this concerns you, please send your objection to us and we will redact your details and send on to the council



The Letter:


Dear Licensing

I object to the relicensing of Spearmint Rhino Sheffield because of :

1. Coronavirus: Discretionary Grounds of inappropriate layout, character and condition of the premises

The social distancing and protective measures necessary now and for the foreseeable future because of Covid-19 cannot possibly take place in a strip club. This makes the layout, character and condition of the premises inappropriate.

Refusal to license on these grounds cannot be successfully challenged:  the strip club operator can only challenge this via the High Court and no such challenge has ever been successful. The High Court frequently does not even give leave for the case to proceed.


2. Coronavirus: Statutory Grounds under The Human Rights Act Article 2

Coronavirus puts all those in the venue (performers and punters) at serious and life-threatening risk –  a possible breach of the Human right act 1988 Article 2 ‘Right to Life’  whereby ‘Public authorities should consider the right to life when making decisions that might put an individual in danger or that affect  life expectancy’.


3. Coronavirus: Statutory Grounds under The Crime and Disorder Act 1998

Even if new ‘regulations’ were suggested by the club (like full PPE and disinfecting poles/podiums/booths in between each performance!), it would be an act of gross (and very possibly criminal) negligence by the council to accept these given the club was STILL BREACHING Conditions in Jan 2020; the 200 breaches confirmed in 2019 and the entire chain’s well documented, decades long record of breaches.


4. Discretionary Grounds of Inappropriate Locality

The location of this venue is in direct breach of your 2011 policy under which the council must operate as it has conceded its most recent policy is unlawful. This policy  states (p6) that the council will not license strip clubs near schools, mental health facilities or those for other vulnerable people, the cultural hub or central gateway to the city.

But the club is 3 mins walk from the city’s major gateway – its only railway station. It is in close proximity to: charities that support people with drug and alcohol addiction; services for survivors of sexual violence; services for young LGBT people; a college for 13-18 year olds; a children’s library and a school supporting young people with special educational needs. It is also essentially ‘on campus’ of Sheffield Hallam University (which could include Scottish students as young as 17).

Sheffield council’s own Public Health body stated the location was inappropriate at the licensing hearing for the club in both 2018 and 2019.

Refusal to license on the ground of inappropriate locality cannot be successfully challenged: a strip club operator can only challenge this via the High Court. No such challenge has ever been successful. The High Court frequently does not even give leave for the case to proceed.


5. Statutory Grounds under the Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 is a statutory provision that must be applied to this licensing decision. However, the council has already conceded two Judicial Reviews which show it is breaching equality law both in its licensing of this club and in its entire strip club licensing policy. A third Judicial Review is now pending.


6. Discretionary Grounds of Unsuitable Applicant

[many of which also include: Statutory Grounds under the Crime & Disorder Act 1998 and Equality Act 2010]:

 Discrepancies in Information provided – Unsuitable Applicant

  • There have been numerous discrepancies in the information provided by the club operator to the council over years. This was highlighted at the club’s licensing hearing last year and includes statements that there was ‘full CCTV’ coverage and there are not ‘fully enclosed’ booths, when this is known not to be the case.


Financial Concerns– Unsuitable Applicant

  • The entire chain has been operating at increasing and substantial loss (now several £millions) for several years. This is particularly concerning when the industry constantly states men often spend £100K in one night and when financial fraud has been shown to be rife in the strip trade. Instead of continuing to license a business that is not paying tax due to ‘operating at a loss’ so not contributing to the economy and is clearly not a sustainable business model surely it is preferable to license a sustainable business that runs at profit and contributes to the economy?


  • Whatsmore, how does it make any sense whatsoever to license a strip club that CANNOT open for the next 1-2 years due to corona-social distancing when you could instead license a different business that could open RIGHT NOW (like a take away, shop, cafe) – and where the club’s current staff could work? Surely this is the best, perhaps only, way to ‘support women in the industry’ and ‘stop them from being unemployed/destitute/turning to prostitution’ which is constantly stated will be the case if the strip club doesn’t stay open?


History of Licensing Breaches across the chain– Unsuitable Applicant/ Breach of Equality & Criminal Law


Historical and ongoing abuse at Sheffield branch– Unsuitable Applicant, Breach of Equality & Criminal Law

  • Whistle blowers at the Sheffield club have testified to historic exploitation and abuse, information given to the council in 2018:


This is not just historic, it was still occurring, and reported, at last year’s licensing hearing:

http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/documents/s36285/Appendix D – Representation Objection 381-390.pdf  p 828


Ongoing Breach of Licensing conditions – Unsuitable Applicant, Breach of Equality & possibly Criminal Law

  • In 2019, 200 breaches by Spearmint Rhino Sheffield were confirmed by the council of extreme levels of sexual contact/sex acts (including masturbation and oral sex).


Ongoing Breach of Licensing Conditions – Unsuitable Applicant

  • In 2020, Council inspection showed there were STILL breaches at Spearmint Rhino Sheffield including hugging (described merely as ‘physical’ contact but which is surely sexual given it occurs presumably while women are still naked and after sexual performances/exposure of genitals), apparent ‘blind spots’ and unfit record-keeping by the club


7. Exit and Prevent

I ask the Council to end its policy of ‘license and ignore’ (continually licensing the strip trade and turning a blind eye to Sheffield’s many brothels – one of which is so embedded and emboldened it even features on TV show ‘A Very British Brothel’).

Social distancing might be in place for 1-2 years. The sex trade, already deeply harmful, is clearly totally unsustainable. Now is the time for all councils to tackle this deeply abusive industry head on and support women to exit ALL branches of the sex industry and into alternative work. Not only is there a 2:1 Return on Investment in doing this, the Government has now committed £76 million funding that could be used to support this. Given that up to 90% of punters would not buy sex if faced with a small fine, points off their driving license, being ‘named’ or put on the Sex Offenders Register, the demand for the sex industry could effectively be obliterated with minimal effort.

This council has an absolute obligation to finally do the right thing for the women it has allowed to be abused in this strip club (and throughout its thriving sex trade) for decades. Now is the time to act.





You Do Not Need to be Local

Calderdale Council is considering relicensing La Salsa strip club in Halifax. Underage girls, sexual contact and prostitution was exposed at its sister branch in Huddersfield. The man responsible for both clubs has also been taken to court for tax evasion. Last year Calderdale council initially refused the license but caved in when the owner threatened them with a law suit (even though he would not have won). 

  • Please add any personal experiences of the industry
  • Please add your name and address

SAFETY ALERT: If you have worked in the industry or have any concerns over confidentiality we urge you to tell the Council you cannot give your address. Please tell them that, when considering the licensing of its strip club, Sheffield City Council leaked 700 emails (including those of lap dancers and rape victims). It also did not properly redact names and other details then made public online.

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Dear Licensing

I urge you to shut down La Salsa strip club and support all its lap dancers out.

It is in a totally unfit location near a women’s shelter. And the owner is clearly unfit – sexual contact, underage girls and suspected trafficking at his other La Salsa club in Huddersfield. He’s even been taken to court for tax evasion.

I understand you DID refuse this license last year but the owner threatened you with legal action and you caved in. This is unacceptable. The purpose of strip club legislation is to give control back to Councils. You clearly don’t want this club but its owner has over ridden your will and the entire purpose of the legislation. BUT if you refuse on the grounds of locality strip clubs CANNOT successfully legally challenge this.

You also cannot regulate this club and safeguard the women in it or adhere to equality law. The entire industry operates by providing sexual contact or more. This has been documented in countless clubs across the UK. Clubs get around all regulation put in place – CCTV, council checks etc and ensure all staff will swear it is well run.

A large body of research and testimony from former dancers show sexual harassment and assault is rampant, that clubs are an entry point for prostitution, that they are full of vulnerable women, who operate in denial in order to survive. You cannot stop this, you are feeding this. You must close this club and support all its dancers out who you have put in harms way.


Action: Bristol

Online Survey

You Do Not Need to be Local 

Bristol is consulting on whether to have 3 strip clubs and 4 sex shops! Tell them NO. Tips below on how to fill out key parts of their online survey (2 mins!):

-Que 4:  ‘Strongly Disagree’

-Que 5:  ‘Strongly Disagree’

-Que 6:  ‘Strongly Disagree’

-Que 7:  ‘Disagree’

-Que 9:

  • Old Market: ‘Strongly Disagree’
  • City Centre Locality: ‘Strongly Disagree’
  • Bishopston/Redland etc: Strongly Agree’ (with zero strip clubs here)

-Que 10 comment: Ask for zero sexual ‘entertainment’ venues and add any personal concerns or experiences of the strip industry



Action: Sheffield

DEADLINE extended to 31 Oct
You Do Not Need to be Local 

Sheffield is consulting on its policy for Sexual ‘Entertainment’ Venues. It’s proposed new policy puts NO LIMITS on the number that may operate. This is despite its own report exposing 200 breaches at its one current strip club, of the ‘highly respectable’ Spearmint Rhino chain. And despite 2 reported rapes (including one rape conviction) at its ‘Swinger’s Club’, complete with ‘viewing gallery’.

  • Use our pre-filled Email
  • Add your name at the bottom
  • Add any other concerns about the strip industry


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Dear Licensing


Introduce a policy for ZERO Sexual ‘Entertainment’ Venues in Sheffield

1. There is NO LOCATION that is appropriate


2. Breach of Safeguarding & Licensing, Equality and Criminal Law

Swingers Clubs: There have now been 2 reported rapes, including 1 rape conviction, at your one currently licensed ‘Swingers’ Club, complete with a ‘viewing gallery’.

Strip Clubs: The Council’s own report found over 200 breaches of extreme sexual contact and suggested unfit management at your one strip club – of the highly reputable, stringently regulated Spearmint Rhino chain.

These breaches were happening despite CCTV, council checks, security guards, ‘house mums’, a wealth of codes and policies and years of sworn statements from countless club staff that it was highly regulated and safe. Staff are still testifying to this.

The entire strip industry operates by providing sexual contact and there is nothing any Council can do to mitigate this.

More CCTV is meaningless – Spearmint Rhino Camden has 63 cameras and yet ‘dancing’ there also involves widespread sexual contact and women trying to prostitute themselves.

Clubs’ employing in-house inspectors is meaningless, as now being practised at Spearmint Rhino Sheffield. The head of the strip chain even knows when ‘independent’ inspections take place.

Strip clubs are also inherently linked to wider crime – drugs & dealing, credit card fraud, tax evasion and, most concerningly, are simply a  feeder for local brothels. It has been testified that pimps operate outside Spearmint Rhino Sheffield.


4.    Ensure TRAINING and regular refreshers for Councillors and Council staff

This is urgently needed on safeguarding, the harm of the strip industry,  the futile of regulatory measures and on SEV and Equality law. This must be carried out by those harmed by the industry or their advocates. Not only do they present the only reliable source of information but training provided to other councils by advocates of the strip industry has done nothing whatsoever to alleviate its harm.


5.    Take strident action on WHISTLE BLOWING

There must be an easy means for women from sexual ‘entertainment’ venues to whilstle blow and strident action must be taken when they do.


6.    Provide Quality EXIT SUPPORT for all lap dancers for any strip club that is shut.


7.   Take strident action against Sheffield’s numerous BROTHELS

These are illegal. Shut them down, prosecute those running them, ensure assets are seized and support every single woman out.



Action: Bristol


You Do Not Need to be Local 

Bristol is consulting on whether to renew its 2 ‘family run’ strip clubs in the heart of the city. Tell them No!

  • Use our pre-filled Email
  • Add your name and address (will be redacted)
  • Add any other concerns about the strip industry


No worries! Just copy and paste the info below and send to: [email protected]

Dear Licensing

I am writing to add my voice to the call from experts who advise on equality between women and men in the city who are asking you to refuse the licence for this sexual entertainment venue. I object to the licence applications for: 1) Central Chambers 19/04692/SEV and 2) Urban Tiger 19/04693/SEV on the grounds that:

Renewal would place the Council in breach of its ongoing obligation to have regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) under the Equality Act 2010. Bristol has a number of national, international and local obligations, policies and strategies which make clear the importance to the city and its residents of equality, safety and women’s safety in particular. All decisions are required to be informed by the PSED.

In addition, the location of both venues is entirely unsuitable: “Lap dancing clubs and historic city centres trying to promote a family-friendly image are not a desirable mix, particularly with a growing residential population on the doorstep” (Philip Kolvin QC arguing successfully in 2015 for Chester Council not to renew an existing strip club licence). The committee is entirely entitled to take a “fresh look” at how it feels about the suitability of the location and is not in any way bound by previous decisions. Your decision not to renew on this ground is not subject to appeal – it cannot be successfully legally challenged by an SEV.


Action: Camden

You Do Not Need to be Local 

Camden is consulting on its Strip Club licensing policy. Despite stating ‘zero clubs’ are appropriate, it rubber stamps all pre-existing clubs and believes its clubs can be ‘stringently regulated’. But our undercover investigations have shown sexual contact & offers of £600 ‘dances’ at Spearmint Rhino and another club operating as a brothel: full of presumed trafficked women, £200 ‘hand jobs’ in the club, pimps lined up outside to take punters to the ‘after party’ brothel where the lap dancers are put to work.

Action: Ealing

You Do Not Need to be Local 

  • Use our pre-filled Email
  • Add your postal address (will not be made public) at the top
  • Add your name at the bottom
  • Add any other concerns about the club/strip industry


Action: Spearmint Rhino

You Do Not Need to be Local 

  • Use our pre-filled Email
  • Add your postal address (will not be made public) at the top
  • Add your name at the bottom
  • Add any other concerns about the club/strip industry
  • Join us for the licensing hearing at 10AM 11th June Sheffield Town Hall 




You Do Not Need to be Local
Email Licensing: [email protected]
Please adapt, include any experience of harassment etc you have experienced in relation to strip clubs:
Dear Licensing
re Renoirs and Rouge Strip Club
Please do not allow Rotherham’s strip club, Renoirs and Rouge, to allow full nudity instead of ‘just’ toplessness. My understanding is that the licensing conditions at this club have already been broken. If you allow full nudity the breaches and exploitation to performers is clearly going to increase.
The men leaving the venue will also be even more sexually aroused than if there were ‘just’ toplessness. And having drunk, hyper aroused men is going to increase crime and disorder and public nuisance and decrease public safety in terms of the harassment and intimidation women will experience from them in the streets.
A recent visit by Private Investigators at Manchester clubs showed sexual contact was standard. At Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino  extreme sexual contact including women having sex with each other was exposed.
Sexual contact, and more, is how the entire industry operates. Nearly 100  incidences in over 60 clubs (at least 1/3 of the UK strip trade) have now been recorded: www.notbuyingit.org.uk/Publications#Press.
What’s more, it cannot be ‘regulated’ – clubs get around any controls that are put in place. Even Sheffield’s club had passed every secret Council spot check and CCTV check with flying colours! Whilst management and staff always testify that the rules are never broken. 
So if you continue to license  your  club, particularly if you allow full nudity, you are licensing a venue where you  know  sexual contact will be taking place – and very likely a great deal more. You will basically be licensing a form of brothel, which is illegal.
Thank you 


Action: Harrogate


Please adapt letter below and email to: [email protected] 
Dear Licensing
I urge you not relicense The King’s Club. It is in a location that is inappropriate according to the Council’s policy  –  on a high street near shops, cafes and the theatre. And you have every right not to license this club for that reason alone. 
In addition, rule breaching (sexual contact and very often worse) goes hand-in-hand with the industry and cannot be stopped. 
The Council has already had to close one strip club, Villa Mercedes, precisely because of this. Extreme levels of contact/prostitution have just been exposed at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino.  Abuse has also already been recorded in many other Yorkshire strip clubs: Huddersfield (2 clubs, 3 times), Doncaster, Rotherham (currently under police investigation). These are not ‘isolated incidences’. These are part of an industry wide pattern -‘rule breaching’ and abuse has been recorded in over 50 clubs across the UK (1/3 of the entire strip trade): www.notbuyingit.org.uk/StripSleaze
All attempts to regulate the industry are futile: Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino, for instance was thought to be fully compliant by the Council – CCTV and spot checks have been clean, always. By granting this license you are licensing a venue where breach of licensing conditions is inevitable and you are directly fuelling criminality both within this club (where sexual contact and other forms of prostitution is inevitable) and more widely (harassment of women outside clubs  is routine and clubs feed the local sex trade with all the harm and costs to the authorities associated with it). 
Thank you


Action: Rotherham


Rotherham is consulting now on its policy for strip clubs, sex shops & sex cinemas. It only takes a few mins to fill in the consultation form. You DO NOT have to be local:

1. Go to the Form here

2. Tick  ‘Very Strongly’ in every box.

3. Under ‘Regulating’ explain how strip clubs cannot be regulated – as has already been exposed in Rotherham’s one strip club where sexual contact and more was rife.  CCTV has countless blind spots (which are often pointed out to dancers); security guards are often paid to turn a blind eye or are often the harassers and abusers themselves – both of women in clubs and outside.

4. Under ‘Additional Comments’ ask for a policy for NO strip clubs; for Rotherham to close its one club and provide exit support for the young women working in it. The Council is directly responsible for the abuse they have experienced by allowing the club to open and continue operating even after this abuse was exposedYou could also talk about your experience of strip clubs  (e.g. harassment outside them or having to avoid the area near strip clubs etc).

Red Rooms – Camden

Red Room has a reputation for prostitution and trafficking inside and pimps punting for local brothels outside. The Council had to use considerable sums of local tax payers money to ensure a court ruling to stop the club from having an entire floor of private booths, in breach of Camden’s strip club licensing policy.




1. Download Template Letter HERE
[prepared with WEP Camden]

2. Fill in Council’s online form HERE

3. Notes on Filling in the Form:

  • You do not need to be local, although it helps if you have visited the area
  • The postcode section on the form is temperamental!
  • Object under ‘Prevention of Crime and Disorder’ & ‘Ensuring Public Safety’
  • Under ‘What is your Representation’ say ‘see attached doc’
  • Attach the Template Letter ​
    (please add any additional info as to why this club should not be licensed e.g. any fear of harassment etc that you’ve had outside this or any other strip club)


Parker’s – Camden


1. Download Template Letter HERE
[prepared with WEP Camden]

2. Fill in Council’s online form HERE
3. Notes on Filling in the Form:

  • You do not need to be local to Camden, although it helps if you have visited the area
  • The postcode section on the form is temperamental!
  • Object under ‘Prevention of Crime and Disorder’ & ‘Ensuring Public Safety’
  • Under ‘What is your Representation’ say ‘see attached doc’
  • Attach the Template Letter ​
    (please add any additional info as to why the location of this club is inappropriate or any experiences of harassment etc outside) 


Spearmint Rhino – Camden

License due for renewal for Camden’s most notorious strip club, Spearmint Rhino – a strip chain with a long history of sexual contact, prostitution and other illegal activities.

Object by Fri 23rd Nov 2018

How To Object

1. Download Template Letter HERE

[prepared with WEP Camden]


2. Go to Council’s online form HERE


3. Notes on Filling in the Form:

  • You do not need to be local to Camden to object, although it helps if you have experience of living /working in or visiting the neighbourhood
  • The postcode section on the form is temperamental!
  • Object under ‘Prevention of Crime and Disorder’ & ‘Ensuring Public Safety’
  • Under ‘What is your Representation’ say ‘see attached doc’
  • Attach the Template Letter ​
    (please add any additional info as to why the location of this club is inappropriate or any experiences of harassment etc outside)

 4. Spread the Word

Please spread the word on social media by Sharing This Link

5. Join WEP Camden

We’re thrilled to be working with WEP Camden – who are taking the lead in challenging Camden’s 7 strip clubs (alongside lobbying for exit support for performers when clubs close). Join the fight, join WEP Camden today!

Find them on Twitter here: @WEPCamden


Action: Camden


You Do Not Need to be Local 

Camden is considering relicensing 3 of its strip clubs, including ‘stringently regulated’ Spearmint Rhino where sexual contact was exposed in March as well as pimps outside. Tell them to shut down all these clubs and offer immediate exit support (emotional and practical) to all lap dancers – who are being abused in these unregulatable environments, with many coming from backgrounds of trauma. 

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Dear Licensing

Do Not Relicense Secrets, Spearmint Rhino and Red Rooms.

Do not relicense these clubs on the basis of inappropriate locality, as already stated in your policy, and support all lap dancers out of the industry.

The fact is, you CANNOT regulate the strip industry.

Spearmint Rhino Camden must be the ‘best regulated club’ in the country – with 63 CCTV cameras,  spotlessly clean council checks, incident logs, rigorous ‘training’ of all staff, security, house ‘mum’, codes of conduct pasted all over the venue and statements of compliance by all staff. Yet there is a history spanning 2 decades of breaches at this club (and others in the chain). Earlier this year, Not Buying It exposed sexual contact as standard in the club.

It is actually quite shocking that the Council is considering relicensing this venue before completing or disseminating the findings of its own investigation into these findings.

Journalists and ex-dancers have also reported sexual contact rife at Secrets. Whilst Red Rooms has the reputation of being little more than a brothel. At licensing hearings, this club testifies that it has very few customers with ‘dances’ going for £200. I understand it has fought in the courts to retain its private booths. Why do you think that might be?

There is now overwhelming evidence that sexual contact – and worse – is how the entire strip industry operates. This is stated by countless women who have left and speak against it and by over 100 incidences recorded in relation to  1/3 of the UK strip industry.  You cannot look at any one club in isolation, you have to look at the industry as a whole. Because this makes it almost inconceivable that any club can operate ‘cleanly’ – particularly in Camden where there are numerous nearby clubs, both in Camden and neighbouring boroughs, that are not. Why would any man go to a clean club if he can get sexual contact and more at one down the road?

Apart from sexual contact inside, Not Buying It exposed pimps outside Spearmint Rhino. Touts (aka pimps) have been an intractable problem for years with this club according to police logs and even a Judge.  Residents have also testified to pimps posing as cabbies outside Secrets and Red Rooms.

Testimony from countless women who have left the industry and research also clearly shows that they are a hub for exploitation and abuse, including assaults. Research in the USA and now a 2019 Home Office report on prostitution also show that they are a direct feeder for women to then enter prostitution.

Testimony from former performers and research also shows that those in the industry are not just abused whilst in it but have very often come from abusive backgrounds. Ongoing trauma means dissociation has become a coping mechanism – it means you cannot feel the pain of the abuse. That is often why women in the industry so vehemently deny any negatives, challenge any who challenge it, have a fierce sense of ‘higher loyalty’ to the clubs and often appear desperate to remain in the industry. While you are in an abusive environment you can continue to dissociate and avoid feeling the trauma of that abuse, so this is actively sought out. When you leave and are no longer in an abusive environment, you can no longer dissociate and the pain of the trauma can be overwhelming. That is why those in the industry are often its more vehement advocates.

That is also why it is imperative you offer quality exit support to all women when you finally stop licensing these hubs of exploitation and to any women who wishes to leave any of your strip clubs in the meantime.


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