Strip Clubs

The Truth About Lap Dancing
More about Lap Dancing

Strip Clubs are part of the organised sex trade and as with the rest of this industry, the women working in it are typically treated very poorly - exploited both in terms of poor pay, no employment rights and high levels of sexual abuse. Clubs also create 'no go' zones in their vicinty - where women and protected groups in particular feel, and frequently are, intimidated and harassed. And the industry promotes 'President Club' style attitudes in wider sociey.  After all, how can it ever be 'Times Up' when men can buy women?

In otherwords the industry provides a harmful and frequently dangerous environment for young women to work in and promotes deeply damagaing attitudes towards all women.

Find out more about strip clubs & read testimonies from performers on our publication page

 

Take Action

Got a lap dancing club new you? Is its licence due for renewal?  Want to challenge it? Use these documents from pressure group OBJECT.

Strip Club Licensing - Write to your Council (Downloads a model Word Document that you can adapt)

Strip Clubs: Council Licensing Obligations (Send this also when you email your Council)

Facts About Lap Dancing (Send this too when you email your Council)

Please also contact us for help and support and to co-ordinate action: [email protected]

 

Strip Club Licensing
From approximately 2005 to 2010, strip clubs were simply licensed l
ike leisure venues like a cafe or a karoake bar and the industry mushroomed uncontrollably. A high profile campaign by pressure group Object and The Fawcett Society led to a change in the law (despite industry reps swearing in the press, and even to Parliament, that lap dancing 'wasn't sexual'; that this was a breach of club owners' human rights and its advocates framing it as a 'moral crusade').

But from 2011 new legislation was introduced which meant that Councils could license clubs as 'Sexual Entertainment Venues' (or SEVs). Most adopted this licensing. This finally gave Councils the power to consider local opinion, the suitability of the local enviornment and equality issues. It meant they could refuse to license new clubs, could refuse to relicense clubs and could even set a policy that no clubs are appropriate (a 'nil policy'). Sadly, through a process of apathy, possible bias and fear of the hugely powerful lap dancing industry, many Councils are still not listening to local people or considering the impact of the industry on women's equality or safety and continue to license strip clubs even in blatantly inappropriate locations (like residential areas, near schools or even women's shelters).

UK Strip Industry
.. coming soon

we are working on a UK map of local council policies and their clubs. Contact us if you'd like to help research this!

Focus on
please feel free to send us news of strip clubs and their relicensing in your area.

Bristol 
Two clubs allowed to continue operating despite mass objection over years, including by MPs and police. Entire licensing policy currently being reviewed.

Camden 

Has 7 clubs despite a 'zero policy' because all pre-existing clubs were allowed to continue operating when strip club licensing policy was first introduced. (We believe this is a breach of both equality and licensing law). No Clubs are allowed private booths/areas. In 2018, Camden successfully challenged one club 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 peope). Of course, if the Council had abided by its own policy, this club woudn't exist and it wouldn't have had to spend £10,000s of tax payers money in the Courts challening it!


Tower Hamlets and Hackney
Like Camden these introduced a 'zero' policy but allowed all pre-exising clubs to continue operating, even though they were desperate to get rid of the industy at the time 'strip club' licensing was introduced! If the Councils are fearful of legal action by clubs if licenses are refused they shouldn't be. There has never been a successful case taken against a Council by a strip club operator!

Cheltenham
One licensed club shut due to delapidation. But town is a hot spot for 'pop up strip clubs'. These are perfectly legal, cannot be licensed and cannot be regulated.
More Info: The Times  The Mail 
Local Campaign: Cheltenham Fems


Leeds
Decided that 4 was apparently an appropriate number of clubs and happily axed the 7 it originally had - despite being taken to court, unsuccessfullly by these clubs' operators. We suggest 4 is a very large number of venues. Leeds is also the only place in the UK that has introduced a 'red light tolerance zone' with disastrous consequences for local people and those in prostitution, including a murder of a woman in prostitution and two other suspected-related related murders.

Liverpool
Lap dancing deemed totally inappropriate and closed months after opening when a decision on its licensing could only be made retrospectively: Liverpool Echo

Portsmouth

New application refused, town currently has 2.


Sheffield 

Its one club's license is coming up for its annual renewal, private booths allowed. Council previously conceded it was in breach of equality law when it granted this club's license last year. Council also faces legal challenge over its entire licensing policy that now places no limit on club numbers. We are challenging this in the High Court.

Westminster
Has a staggering 25 sex establishments (eg sex shops and sex cinemas) and 12 strip clubs in just one small area of the borough! How can that possibly be in keeping with the Council's legal duty to work towards eliminating harassment, discrimination and victimisation of women?