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Action:Halifax


DEADLINE 3 Dec

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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Copy and paste the message below and send to: [email protected]

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.


UK Action

Sign Petition

Nearly 100 incidences recorded in 70 strip clubs (1/3 of the entire UK strip trade).  And now  independent investigations have shown that men buy sexual contact as standard in clubs from Manchester to London and buy women to have sex with each other at Spearmint Rhino. While women who have left the strip trade 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

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Action: Bristol

Online Survey

DEADLINE 10 Nov
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

DEADLINE 30 Sep

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

 

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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


DEADLINE 9th Sept
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

DEADLINE 30 June
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

DEADLINE 27 May
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 

 

 


Action:Rotherham

DEADLINE 15 May
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

DEADLINE 9 April

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

DEADLINE 20 Feb

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.

DEADLINE 31st DEC

 

Object

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

DEADLINE 31st DEC

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

 

DEADLINE 25 Nov
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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Just copy and paste the info below and send to: [email protected]

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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