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15th December

    Crocodile Tears ...

 
   

Mini Brothels to be made legalMurders remind of the dangers of forcing sex workers into the cold

Comment from Paul

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said police chiefs were "emotionally overwhelmed" after learning five prostitutes had been found dead. He said there was "stunned silence" when a meeting of police commanders was given the news.

These tragic events have clearly overwhelmed us... emotionally , said Mr Gull, who is leading the hunt for the serial killer targeting women in the Ipswich red light area.

Maybe they'll think of that when they are persecuting sex workers in future

Comment from The Times , by Alice Miles

How we let Gemma and Tania down

The case for legalised prostitution is clear

What a shame that all the prostitutes murdered in Ipswich were not the product of broken homes. It would have made a solution so much simpler, at least to propose if not to enforce: marriage for all, home by nine, in bed by ten. Unfortunately one of the girls at least appears to come from precisely the kind of nice middle class two-parent happy family background that is supposed by many jumping on the Conservative Party's new-old bandwagon to preclude drug taking, poverty and misery.

One thing I can predict with utter certainty: neither the Conservative nor Labour parties will propose the sort of steps that would have protected Gemma and Tania and Anneli and, as looks grimly inevitable, Paula and Annette. The solutions are too unpalatable for polite politics, which relies on middle-class votes in "nice" areas like Suffolk for election.

First, brothels: proper, clean, large-as-you-like, licensed knocking shops, with medical checks and protection for the girls. And tax credits too. Not all prostitutes would want to join one, but at least they would have a choice. At the beginning of this year Labour launched a "prostitution strategy", after the most thorough review of the law in half a century. It abandoned ideas for managed zones in non-residential areas and instead prescribed a crackdown on kerb crawling, early intervention, efforts to tackle demand and new attempts to help women to escape from the lifestyle. It would be laughable if it weren't so serious and so sad: a pathetic range of tried and failed "policies". The only promising proposal was to allow up to three women to operate from the same premises in sort of mini-brothels without facing prosecution; but there has been no sign since of the legislation needed to implement it.

What there has been in a concerted focus on kerb crawling, with zero-tolerance zones and the increased use of ASBOs — recently introduced against women working as prostitutes in Ipswich — which have forced the women into ever darker corners and more quickly into strange men's cars in order to evade arrest. And that, according to prostitutes in Ipswich and elsewhere, has left them more vulnerable than ever. Funny how silent Home Office ministers have been this week; it normally takes but a headline or two for John Reid to pop up flashing a stiffer sentence or a fundamental review.

And that would be easy compared with addressing the drug issue: Gemma Adams, like many of the prostitutes on the streets of Ipswich, was a heroin addict. How much evidence does the Government need before it concludes that heroin should be prescribed on the NHS for addicts to short circuit the personal and public chaos an addicted life generates? It doesn't mean that society condones heroin use, any more than it condones or condemns the use of Prozac or benzodiazepams; but it does mean recognising addiction as a physical condition and not just a moral failure.

We can only hope that Mr Cameron heard the London prostitute interviewed on the Today programme (with a sort of "we don't do this very often" apology from the presenter by way of introduction for listeners of a moralistic bent). She explained eloquently how she turned to prostitution because she needed money to raise her children, and didn't want to work long hours in a supermarket never seeing them. Money, Mr Cameron: it is the basis of general wellbeing if you haven't got enough of it, and any family in a low-income bracket needs it, married or not.

It didn't require the deaths of five women to tell us any of this. Nor is there a society on earth that can prevent the violence of the occasional serial killer. What we have done is offered up the street girls as easy prey while turning up our noses at them and their way of life and turning our backs. Despite the rest of the country talking about the murders in Ipswich, the Prime Minister had nothing to say about them at his press conference yesterday.

If these deaths have helped to shine a light on the desperate world that exists outside our front doors and under our eyes, well at least that is something. Not much of a consolation to their families and friends, is it?

 

15th December

Update: Safety for Sex Workers ...

 
   

Mini Brothels to be made legalThe Home Office haven't got a date

From The Independent

Plans to get prostitutes off the streets by allowing two or three to work in "mini-brothels" are still being considered by ministers almost a year after they were first floated by the Government.

The Home Office said it was still "consulting with stakeholders" and hoped to announce its conclusions shortly. But a spokeswoman said last night: "We haven't got a date."

Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, demanded urgent action. While the Government has seen fit to legislate endlessly in the areas of criminal justice and counter-terrorism, it has failed to put forward serious proposals for the reform of prostitution.

Fiona Mactaggart, the former Home Office Minister, who drew up the proposals, said: It's shocking it takes a tragedy like this to realise this is really urgent. But the best we can do is to make sure we take the steps we have already identified. It's what we owe those poor women who have been murdered by this evil individual or individuals.

The Home Office this year abandoned plans, put forward by David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, for "licensed red light districts" where vice girls can operate legally.

Blair's official spokesman said: There's no real evidence we can find that formal managed areas can actually deliver in terms of improving the safety of those involved in prostitution." Allowing up to three prostitutes to work together was an "active consideration" .

 

17th December

Update: Unacceptable Politics ...

 
   

Mini Brothels to be made legalBlair blocked safety measures out of fear of headlines

From The Observer

Downing Street blocked moves that would in effect have legalised prostitution because the Prime Minister was so concerned that 'hostile headlines' would wreck plans to make sex workers' lives safer.

In a passionate article in today's Observer, Katharine Raymond, a senior adviser to the former Home Secretary David Blunkett, reveals that he wanted to liberalise the law, allowing 'managed areas' for prostitutes similar to those in mainland Europe. Experts say that such areas would mean that sex workers, such as the five women killed around Ipswich over the past month, would be at less risk of attack.

Today Raymond, who was one of Blunkett's trusted special advisers overseeing prostitution policy for more than three years, calls for the legalisation of prostitution and argues that current policy is 'a disgrace' caused by 'political cowardice' and public indifference.

The uncomfortable reality is that, while these pitiful girls and women cater to an eternal consumer demand, their lives are being put at greater risk by the lamentable failings of both government and law enforcement, she says.

Raymond's attack is significant because it is the first account from inside the Home Office of how attempts at liberalisation foundered. She worked closely with ministers in drawing up a consultation paper called 'Paying the Price', which she said was designed to trigger a 'serious debate' about legalised brothels and red-light zones managed by local councils.

Raymond says there was 'opposition from Number 10, which was terrified of a hostile media response'. The paper eventually surfaced only because Blunkett wanted what he called a 'grown-up debate'. However, a few months later he resigned and the issue passed to his successor, Charles Clarke. The result, says Raymond, was a 'watered-down series of proposals' that has still not been implemented.

Blunkett insisted yesterday there was no pressure from Downing Street and blamed the previous reticence of many commentators now advocating reform for the fact that it came to nought. A spokesman for Blunkett said: His only regret is that insufficient contributions were forthcoming from so many of those now commenting on the circumstances surrounding the tragic murders in Suffolk and, had they done so at the time, it may have been possible to have had a sensible debate about the issues then.

When the paper was eventually published in July 2004, it duly triggered hostile comments from media and, more crucially, the police. After consultation the then minister, Fiona Mactaggart, published proposals in January this year offering only a minor change, allowing a maximum of two prostitutes to work together for safety from a flat. Tolerance zones were ruled out.

Home Office sources last week declined to say when the law might be changed to allow even this limited reform: John Reid, the Home Secretary, is said to be reluctant to debate the issues while the murder hunt continues.

Raymond, however, argues that the 'useless' laws governing prostitution should be scrapped and brothels legalised, with pilot experiments to show whether managed zones can work, too. Liverpool council had been poised to start such a pilot in the wake of the Home Office's initial consultation, but needed a go-ahead from ministers that it did not get.

 

18th December

Update: Nutter Harman ...

 
   

Mini Brothels to be made legalCriminalising those who just want to get laid

A policy of denying sex simply screws people up...
You only have to look at the Catholic Church for an example.

Never trust a politician who claims justification in 'organised crime', 'money laundering' & 'national security'

From the BBC

The government should look at prosecuting men who pay for sex, Minister for Constitutional Affairs Harriet Harman has said.

While kerb crawling and procuring a prostitute for sex are illegal, paying for sex is not currently an offence. Harman said the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich showed more should be done to end vice in the UK. It would be better to target the men who paid for sex rather than criminalising women, she said.

I think we should be saying we don't want this sort of organised crime in this country, she said.

She suggested the UK look at the case of Sweden, where they support young women who have drug problems and who are vulnerable for other reasons, but they actually have a criminal offence of buying sex - they make prostitution illegal, by taking on the issue of the punters rather than the young women.

Harman's call comes as the government has been accused of dragging its feet over legislation that would protect prostitutes from attack. Former home office minister Fiona Mactaggart has urged ministers to carry out a plan to legalise small brothels. The idea was included in January's prostitution strategy for England, but it has yet to be implemented.

Mactaggart told BBC News the murder of five women in Suffolk showed the need for urgent changes in the law to protect prostitutes: What we have a responsibility to do as a government is to make sure that women who are involved in prostitution are safe and one of the ways of doing that is making sure that where two women are working together from a flat they don't face a 14 year sentence . It has not been an urgent policy for this government.

This terrible series of murders has pushed it up everyone's agenda and made us realise that we need to have a policy which helps to reduce the extent of street prostitution, yes, but at the same time, make sure that the women who are involved, who are selling themselves - who have very chaotic lives - are safe.

 

23rd December

Update: Brothel Talk ...

 
   

Mini Brothels to be made legalBradford MPs see benefits in legalisation

From the BBC

Bradford MPs are calling for a debate on legalising brothels after the murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said it was time MPs had a full, adult and open debate about the issue. He said there were genuine arguments for and against legalising all aspects of prostitution, especially brothels, as it could be safer for women to work in numbers.

But he said ensuring women were not forced into prostitution must be paramount. Mr Davies (Con) said: As long as women are entering into it of their own free will I think it should be allowed. It is not the business of anyone else and I would legalise it tomorrow. But the issue is more about increasing pimping and trafficking. If more people are forced into prostitution then it would be a bad thing.

Bradford North MP Terry Rooney (Lab) said he feared for the safety of women and children as young as 14 prostituting themselves on the streets of Bradford: Almost anything would be safer than that. Maybe now is the time to debate it as there is a real safety issue. We could look at experiences of other countries.

A woman can legally "sell herself" in a private house but if there is more than one woman the premises are seen as a brothel and illegal. Street soliciting is illegal, as is living off immoral earnings

The Government is now considering relaxing laws surrounding brothels, making it legal for a maximum of three to work together from a private address. While this could improve safety and get women off the streets, there are concerns many people could adopt a "not in my back yard' attitude.

Bradford West MP Marsha Singh said the debate was needed but what the women wanted needed to be taken into account: Maybe some of the girls would not want to be in an institutionalised setting. There is not a standard answer but now is the time to discuss it. Legalising brothels could make women safer but would people accept one in their street or area and would they want cars turning up there at all hours?

Keighley MP Ann Cryer (Lab) said: From what we have learnt in the last few days I think it is time we allowed more than one girl to work in a house. If there are two, one could call the police if a man became violent. If neither was making money out of the other there is not a problem, as long as they are not being controlled.

Former Bradford prostitute Charlie Daniels is also calling for safer environments to eradicate the dangers of street prostitution. Earlier this year she told the Telegraph & Argus: If we push vice any further underground more problems are created. If run properly, saunas/massage parlours provide a safe, healthy environment for women. As long as parlours are registered, have open communication with the vice squad and are checked by an outside agency who can report back to police, they should continue as they are.

 

13th December

    Apple Turning Sour

iBuzz TwoApple not turned on by iBuzz Two, a sex toy for your iPod

It's called the iBuzz. It's a vibrator you can plug into your iPod or whatever MP3 player you've got and the tempo of the track that you're playing controls, shall we say, the rhythm of the night...

From iBuzz
IBuzz Two available from LoveHoney

I received a letter from Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, one of Apple Computer Inc's lawyers. They represent Apple in intellectual property matters.

And why did they have cause to write to me? Seemingly they had taken (or someone at Apple had told them to take) umbrage at iBuzz, the music-activated vibrator developed by Love Labs, a company in which I am a partner.

iBuzz silhouette imageMore specifically, they didn't like the iBuzz.co.uk Web site. More specifically still, they were objecting to the animation showing silhouettes of girls diddling themselves silly with white vibrators. Titter.

In their letter, they say: Our client owns the copyright in all the images used in its 'Silhouette' advertising campaign and actively polices its rights in order to protect itself and its consumers.

They go on: Certain images used on your website (www.ibuzz.co.uk) may have been copied or substantially copied from those in which our client own the copyright, without our client's consent... Your use of such images amounts to copyright infringement.

The only fly in their argument is that we know exactly where the silhouettes in the iBuzz animation came from - and they certainly didn't come from Apple. Our friend created the images and he's still got the PhotoShop files to prove it. He traced them from pictures in his collection of (his inverted commas) 'free-to-air porn',

While there is arguably a similarity of style between the iBuzz animation and Apple's, it is settled law that copyright does not subsist in mere style or technique (my counsel tells me). So we think the allegation is unfounded. But perhaps Apple's lawyers know something about the extent of Apple's activities that we don't. Maybe Steve Jobs has identified the iBuzz silhouettes as coming from a vast Apple-owned library of pornography?

I don't think so. They're belatedly getting round to some poe-faced tut-tutting as part of Apple's new clean-up misson. Apple is getting fed up with companies linking their sex toys to the iPod, even though iPod users are quite happy to do it themselves.

And, so far, Field Fisher Waterhouse have been reasonable with Love Labs. Apple remains hopeful that this matter can be resolved quickly and amicably, they wrote. But added ominously: Naturally, if your co-operation is not forthcoming, our client's approach will not be so flexible.

 

30th November

    Browned Off

Pole DancingNutters browned off over a lap dancing bar in Newcastle

Based on an article from ic Newcastle

Plans to open a new lap-dancing club in Newcastle could spark a battle between Tyneside's topless bars.

An application has been lodged by Leeds company Acrewell Ltd to open a strip club in Neville Street, Newcastle, under the Lounge Bar.

Last night Glenn Nicie, who runs one of the city's existing topless bars, believes the club, to be called Bare Elegance, will feature full female nudity. Nicie, who runs For Your Eyes Only, in Carliol Square, and the Quayside's Blue Velvet, said: If they get the go-ahead with this, we will have to do it, too.

The application, lodged on November 9, says Bare Elegance would provide striptease, table-side dancing, pole dancing and lap dancing from 11am to 4.30am.

When considering the bid, Newcastle City Council will give "particular regard" to the proximity of strip clubs to schools and places of religious worship. The club would be across the road from the church of St John the Baptist. St Mary's Cathedral and Buffer Bear nursery are also nearby.

But Coun Geraldine Ormonde, spokeswoman for Gateshead and Newcastle Women's Alliance, said: It's absolutely terrible. This would be a backward step for Newcastle and I'm certainly going to lobby against it.

Council licensing officer David Ellerington said he was yet to receive any objections. Comments must be made in writing to the council by December 7.

 

27th November

    Fantasy Hour

Pole DancingBased on an article from Banbury Guardian

Oxforshire's first lap dancing and striptease club opens in Banbury on December 6 after a two month delay.

Evenings at Casseopiea will include a fantasy hour when dancers will don schoolgirl, nurse, devil and bunny outfits to entertain customers.

Brackley entrepreneur Ashley Brown will throw open the doors of Casseopiea to the public offering lap dancing, pole dancing and private nude dancing in the Broad Street building that was last home to the short lived nightclub Picasso's.

 

23rd November

    Greenwich Mean Timing

Pole DancingBased on an article from This is Herfordshire

A bar which wants to offer lap dancing has been stopped from opening at the last minute.

Less than an hour before Caffery's Sports Bar was due to open its doors, a notice was issued by Greenwich Council forbidding it to do so.

According to the notice, managing director Ivor Andrews had not applied for permission to change the use of his premises to a lap dancing venue.

On July 6, Andrews was originally granted a change of use in his premises licence to provide lap dancing at the club in Trafalgar Road, Greenwich.
continued...

But the council says in order for lap dancing to take place, he also needs to apply for planning permission to change the building use to provide entertainment. The council says Andrews has made alterations to the bar's basement, including moving toilets and an entrance, which contravenes his existing planning permission.

A spokesman said: A temporary stop notice was served on November 10 as planning permission had not been sought for the change of use of the building. The notice takes immediate effect and will run for 28 days, allowing time for a planning application to be submitted. It is illegal to operate during this period.

Andrews' only option is to follow the council's instructions and apply for the change in his planning permission. If the permission is declined he would then be able to appeal and the matter could end up in the hands of the independent Planning Inspectorate.

Andrews says he has received legal advice in a bid to claim compensation for loss of earnings. He said: I categorically deny having broken any planning regulations.

He added: I believe Greenwich Council has taken action beyond its legitimate power and as such this is now the subject of serious litigation.

 

19th November

    Nutters See Red

St Mary's BlackhillBased on an article from The Northern Echo

Church nutters have started a petition opposing plans to open a lap-dancing club in Consett.

Red Velvet will charge people to watch a topless dancer in the club formerly known as Rubiks Cube, in Front Street. It may employ girls from the town as dancers, and auditions will be held if the club is given the go-ahead.

Religious nutters fear it will lead to a decline in moral standards, but the people behind the venture say it is harmless fun.

Sonny Gill, who has made the application, said: This is not prostitution and we have to make sure the girls are protected at all times. There is a strictly no-touching rule, and the men cannot swap mobile numbers with the dancers. We have cameras all over the place, and approved doormen outside the private dance rooms in case anything happens. The acts are not as raunchy as a striptease and it is happening in towns and cities all over the country."

The club will open from 9pm to 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays at first, and then Thursdays to Sundays.

St Patrick's and St Mary's churches have started a petition opposing the scheme. Father Seamus Doyle, of St Mary's, in Blackhill, said: There is a desire to protect against the destruction of Christian and community family values. We want a safe environment for the community and to promote honesty and integrity needed to nurture wholesome relationships.

The police have been consulted and raised no objection to the scheme on moral grounds.

Derwentside District Council has received ten letters of objection. The authority's licensing committee is expected to discuss the application on December 12. A spokesman for the council said the committee could not make a moral judgement and has to consider the following criteria: protection of children from harm, public nuisance, public safety and the prevention of crime and disorder.

 

2nd November

    Crawling for New Laws

Police predictably want to be able to arrest innocent people even if there is no nuisance being caused. It is clearly the police that should be locked up for gross abuse of our human rights.

Scottish Executive logoBased on an article from The Scotsman

Scotland's police chiefs have called for a rethink of proposed new laws designed to crack down on prostitution.

They say the Scottish Executive's Prostitution Bill, currently being considered by MSPs, will be difficult to enforce in its current form. And they claim the English law on the issue is "more practical".

The Bill would make it a crime to cause "alarm, offence or nuisance" by soliciting or loitering. When it announced the legislation, the Executive said one of its main aims was to target men buying sex as well as the women selling it. But the Bill specifically says a man driving slowly round an area in a car cannot be guilty of "loitering" and is therefore not committing an offence.

In written evidence to the Scottish Parliament's local government committee, which was examining the Bill today, Acpos said: The Bill is unlikely to satisfy the needs and demands of the community. It is felt this should be reconsidered and suggested that a definition of 'loitering' is added.

The Acpos evidence, submitted by acting general secretary Harry Bunch, added: It is perhaps worthy to note the approach taken in England and Wales includes the stipulation that it is an offence for a person to solicit from a motor vehicle persistently or in such a manner as to cause annoyance to the person being solicited or nuisance to the neighbourhood.

 

29th October

    Update: Shakers Appeal Date

ShakersBased on an article from Burnham on Sea.com

Burnham-On-Sea residents will have to wait until the New Year to find out whether controversial plans to introduce lap dancing and extend opening hours get the go-ahead at a local nightclub.

A court pre-hearing was held this week when solicitors from Sedgemoor District Council met a team from Shakers to discuss the club's bid to appeal against the council's decision to turn down the application last May.

Shakers is requesting a variation to its licence in order to open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, and introduce occasional lap dancing.

A Sedgemoor spokesman told us afterward the hearing: The appeal is due to be held by Bridgwater Magistrates on January 22nd, 2007.

Sedgemoor's licensing panel rejected the application after reviewing the comments of local police, residents and councillors who expressed concern about the impact the longer opening hours would have on the nearby community.

 

26th October

    UK Adult Film Awards

Based on an article from From Life Style Extra

The UK Adult Film Awards is billed to highlight performances from x-rated actors and actresses from across the country , and will see gongs won in 37 categories.

Awards for best film, best actress and 'best softcore' are up for grabs, as well as recognition for best gay and transexual movies.

Spokesman Kizzi Nkwocha said that the awards, promoted by Redzone Pictures together with the UK Adult Producers Trade Association, are intended both to promote the adult film industry and give it a voice when talking to bodies including the BBFC.

R18 hardcore films were first partially permitted in 1997, although full hardcore was not legalised until 2000. The UK porn industry is estimated to be worth £1 billion.

The shortlist for nominations is being judged by an independent panel, and 400 people are expected to attend the show.

The awards are due to be held at the Hammersmith Palais on November 17

 

22nd October

    Spa Dancing

Based on an article from the Leamington Spa Today

Two sites in Leamington Spa/Warwick have been earmarked for a lap-dancing club. The brainchild of a company with considerable knowledge of the market and significant financial backing.

Bosh Media, a leisure firm which handles the marketing for Birmingham-based nightclubs Bambu and Dragon Eye, is behind the opening of a venue called Pinks, which is also due to open in Rugby on November 16.

Marketing director Chris Webb said: In Warwick and Leamington, there's a lot more people who I call 'smokers', which means those who commute to London. They are generally more aware of this type of thing and have a more atuned mind to it, so I don't think they would have any objection to us. We have a couple of sites in Warwick that we are looking at.

Forget ideas of "seedy, back-street members' clubs", as Webb put it - Pinks is being touted as a rival to Spearmint Rhino and the 'upmarket' clubs in Brimingham: Chuck men and women into together, that's what we say. We will be pan-sexual. Birmingham has a myriad of assorted lap-dancing and gentlemen's clubs and we want Pinks to be something new and a more refined service."

Regarding the plan, The Rev Vaughan Roberts, of St Mary's church, said: It would not be somewhere I would frequent. But we live in a free country where these things happen. Lap dancing clubs do exist. A lot would depend on where it was to open up. If it were in the town centre and near a school I would be concerned, and I think people would share my feelings. At this early stage I would watch the matter with concern for those in society who are most vulnerable.

 

13th October

    Small Minds on Mini Brothels

Based on an article from the Belfast Telegraph

Mini Brothels to be made legalNutter UUP MLA Esmond Birnie urged Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde to oppose government proposals to legalise mini-brothels in Ulster.

Under new reforms - which are expected to be announced before the end of the year - prostitutes could be allowed to work together in mini-brothels in an attempt to reduce the risks involved in the sex trade.

Similar plans, which permit up to three women to operate legally from premises, were introduced earlier this year in England and Wales as part of a Government strategy to tackle prostitution.

Currently in Northern Ireland only one prostitute working alone can offer paid sex without breaking the law. A brothel is where two or more people are working together to provide sexual services. A consultation period on the proposals - contained within the document Reforming the Law on Sexual Offences in Northern Ireland - is due to close'

Birnie  added: People trafficking is a despicable trade spreading misery across the globe. Here in Northern Ireland (and Belfast in particular) we have an imperative to stop the huge growth in the sex industry which fuels the demand for imported women. That growth would best be contained by a zero tolerance attitude towards those who purchase commercial sex.

 

13th October

    Spearmint Rhino Charge into Glasgow

Based on an article from The Herald

Spearmint Rhino logoSpearmint Rhino, the largest table-dancing club chain in the world, will open its first Scottish venue by Christmas.  The firm's UK bosses have confirmed that they have acquired an existing lap dancing club in Glasgow, the Truffle Club, and will rebrand it within the next two months.

Although members of the Scottish Executive's working group on adult entertainment say they have no problem with the club, MSPs and women's nutter groups have already predictably expressed their fury.

Glasgow City Council, which has as a policy of blanket opposition to lap dancing clubs, is almost certain to try to block the move.

The acquisition of the Truffle Club, Glasgow's first lap dancing club which opened in 1998, presents Spearmint Rhino with the advantage of not having to apply for a new licence. It will instead simply have to have the existing licence transferred. Despite claims it will extend over two floors and have a capacity for 900 customers, Simon Warr, president of Spearmint Rhino's European division, said it would stick to the existing set-up of just one floor.

Warr said that although he was aware the move would upset many within Glasgow City Chambers their objections were on moral grounds and not legal grounds.
He said: We've chosen Glasgow and not Edinburgh or Aberdeen because it is a relatively untapped market. It's an excellent, vibrant city and, for me, Scotland's first city. We know there will be opposition but these moral attitudes have nothing to do with the law.

Glasgow MSP Nutter Sandra White added: I'm appalled that a company involved in such spurious practices and with such a dubious past can set up in Glasgow.

 

4th October

    Councillors Driven Wild

Based on an article from Leeds Today

Wildcats logoLap dancing promoter Matthew Haycox is battling councillors in a bid to bring the eigth naked dance club to Leeds city centre.

Provocative Leisure (Leeds) wants to open Wildcats, a table dancing club, in the Headrow venue formerly occupied by the Babycream bar and restaurant which recently closed. An application for a licence has been submitted to the council.

Coun Keith Wakefield, the council's Labour group leader, is concerned that another club wants to open so close to the town hall and the war memorial: I cannot believe another application has been submitted for a lap-dancing club in the city centre, which is simply ludicrous considering we already have seven near to one another. It is bad enough we already have one lap-dancing club on the Headrow facing such distinguished landmarks as Leeds Town Hall and the city's war memorial, but to have two would not only be totally inappropriate but also disrespectful. Is this the type of entertainment venue which is going to boost the reputation of our great city and encourage people to visit, live or work here?

But Matthew Haycox, owner of Wildcats, argued that Coun Wakefield's concerns were ill founded.
He said: We are an established and professional company with an impeccable record. People like Coun Wakefield may worry but the truth is lap dancing bars open their doors and cause no trouble.
"When it comes to crime and disorder, lap dancing bars cause less trouble than traditional clubs.\

Coun Mark Harris, council leader, said: The licensing panel can only turn down an application if there is evidence the establishment would not be responsibly run or would lead to crime and disorder, public nuisance, harm to children or threats to public safety.

 

19th September
updated to
9th October

    Executive Intolerance

I wonder if the mean minded politicians are eyeing up stoning as a possible punishment.

Based on an article from The Herald

Scottish Executive logoAround 100 men are expected to be persecuted annually under a proposed law, published yesterday, intended to put prostitutes' clients on the wrong side of the law as well as the sex workers.

Many more could be dissuaded by new guidelines for councils, encouraging them to use security cameras and registration plate recognition software, through which warning letters can be sent to suspected kerb crawlers.

The proposed Holyrood legislation will make it an offence for clients to pay prostitutes for sex, while those selling sex on the street will be committing a specific offence – if they are judged by police to be causing a nuisance, alarm or offence. That is a change from the current law, which does not treat prostitution or kerb-crawling as illegal, but it does make it an offence to solicit for sex.

The proposed reform follows from the findings of an expert group. Although it recommended police action should only follow a third party making a complaint, the proposed law will not require a complaint to be made.

George Lyon, the deputy public services minister, said the Prostitution (Public Places)(Scotland) Bill replaces an "outdated and unfair" law and goes further than ministers' previous promise to target kerb-crawling, in that any client can be charged, whether or not in a car.

There is a need to redress this balance to protect communities from anti-social behaviour arising from street prostitution, whether caused by the seller or purchaser. The new offences created as part of this Bill will tackle the nuisance caused by those looking to buy sexual services either on foot or by kerb-crawling in cars.

According to executive estimates, based on the workings of English law on kerb-crawling, around 100 men will be caught and prosecuted each year in Scotland. But Ruth Morgan-Thomas, manager of the Scottish Prostitutes Education Project, said that is a conservative reckoning. Margo MacDonald, the Lothian independent MSP who has been campaigning for a more liberal approach to prostitution tolerance zone, said she was disappointed ministers have not gone as far as the expert group recommended.

8th October

Update: Crawling Towards Mean Mindedness

Based on an article from The Scotsman

Scottish Executive logoKerb crawling will not be outlawed under new prostitution legislation, despite the Scottish Executive promising to do so, MSPs said recently.

Civil servants have admitted men who repeatedly drive slowly around red light districts will not be committing an offence under the proposed legislation. MSPs have questioned whether even men stopping to allow a prostitute to get into their car would be breaking the proposed new law.

And one leading defence lawyer has suggested the Executive needs to be more bold in the way it frames the legislation.

When the Executive published the Prostitution Bill last month, Deputy Public Services Minister George Lyon said the aim was to tackle the nuisance caused by those looking to buy sexual services either on foot or by kerb-crawling in cars.

But when the Scottish Parliament's local government committee began its scrutiny of the Bill, the absence of a law against kerb-crawling was raised.

The Bill makes it an offence to cause "alarm, offence or nuisance" by "soliciting" or "loitering" - and that applies equally to the buyer or seller of sex. But it specifically excludes the possibility of prosecuting someone for "loitering" in a car.

Alison Douglas, head of the civil servants in charge of the Bill, told the committee: The difficulty is proving the intention of someone driving slowly round an area is for the purposes of buying sex. There would have to be an approach from somebody from a vehicle - ie, soliciting behaviour - for an offence to be committed.

Shameful Scottish Nationalist MSP Fergus Ewing said: It seems to me the punter is going to escape scot free again and again and that's not what we want. He said he planned to table an amendment to shift the emphasis of the Bill to make it an offence to buy or attempt to buy sex.

9th October

  Update: Nutters Asked to Back Off 1 Metre

Based on an article from The Herald

Scottish Executive logoM inisters will today reject calls for an effective ban on lap dancing.

The Scottish Executive will say a proposal which would have forced performers to dance at least one metre from their customers is "unworkable". Instead, ministers will support a comprehensive licensing system for adult entertainment which closes loopholes in the law and improves the security and working conditions for dancers.

The one-metre rule was suggested earlier this year by a government working group, which examined the risk of sexual exploitation to lap dancers and strippers. The proposal, which conjured up images of council inspectors brandishing tape measures, was ridiculed as being unenforceable.

MSPs were also lobbied by lap dancers. Veronica Deneuve, who has been dancing in Scottish clubs for four years, compiled a dossier after talking to other performers around the country.  She said: Who's going to buy a dance a metre away? Our earnings are going to plummet. I know a few girls who would turn to prostitution and I don't want to see that happen to them.

In its April report, the Adult Entertainment Working Group recommended a stop to dancers touching themselves and set out a graphic list of simulated sex acts which should be forbidden. Ministers are expected to back such a ban when they give their formal response today.

The executive also intends to strengthen licensing law which lets pubs put on lap dancing on the basis of a liquor licence alone, by arguing dancing is not their main line of business. Five of the seven venues offering erotic dancing in Edinburgh are using this approach.

In future, the activity, rather than the venue, will be licensed. This will then include stretch limos and fake fire engines used by hen parties are included.

The AEWG report said there should be increased use of CCTV in venues to protect staff. Ministers are expected to agree. An executive source said, with the exception of the one-metre rule, most of the AEWG recommendations had been "basic common sense".

Other proposals included a minimum age of 18 for all staff and performers in venues, a national licensing system and council discretion over the degree of nudity in each club.

However, the executive is thought to have deferred a decision on another controversial idea in the report – a proposed ban on private booths in lap-dancing clubs on the grounds these could be used for prostitution.

 

6th September
updated to
3rd October

    A Step Too Far

Based on an article from This Is York

4 Nuns dancing

Church approved steps

York's first lap-dancing club has asked licensing bosses for official permission to open.

A detailed operating schedule for the club, set to open above Ziggy's nightclub, in Micklegate, on September 15, has been handed to City of York Council and the police.

John Lacy, the council's licensing manager, said: The police and council have been served with an operating schedule. We have looked at it and there are some issues which still need to be discussed. Senior licensing officers from the council and the police will be meeting with the club next week.

The Press told last week how seven lap-dancers had already been employed to strip for customers for £10 a time on the opening night. A reporter applied for a job and was invited to an audition. A pole and stage where girls will perform sexy dances is already in place, while booths for private, fully nude dances are still being put in place.

But the planned club, which is expected to open every Friday and Saturday night, has already been criticised by nutters. The Archdeacon of York, the Venerable Richard Seed, said the lap-dancing club was morally a "step too far".

Ziggy's did not need to apply for a full licence for the club because the premises already have an entertainments licence.

 

16th September

Update: York Council Make Up Their Own Law

So what gives with a council law to prohibit 18-20 years olds. Sounds like they are making up discriminatory bollox as they go along. On what grounds can they arbitrarily ban adults from entertainment.

Based on an article from This Is York

4 Nuns dancing

Church approved steps

City of York Council has finally granted permission for "exotic dancing" at Ziggy's nightclub in Micklegate.

The club's owner Andrew Elliott said one of the main reasons for turning the club into an adult entertainment venue was because of a loss of trade since pubs were granted later opening hours: Things have moved on and new licensing laws changed things because some of our existing customers moved on to other venues now pubs are open until two or three in the morning. He said all nightclubs had suffered a loss of trade as a result.

Sixty guests have been invited to the opening night on Friday and the dancers have been employed.

The council and the police have attached a number of strict conditions to the club's licence, which they say are to protect performers, the premises and the public.

The rules are:

  • No-one under the age of 21 will be allowed to enter that part of the premises while dances are taking place
  • No exotic dancing will take place before 9pm
  • No exotic dancing will take place on Sundays.

All performers must be over 18 and CCTV had to be installed in all areas where dances take place.

The club will not be able to advertise using photographs outside the premises which show nudity or sexual performances take place there, and dancing must not be visible from outside.

Dancers have to be given separate changing rooms away from the public.

A City of York Council spokesperson said: We have not had any entertainment of this nature in York since the early 1970s and, whilst there is no legal basis to prohibit it on moral grounds, we can put as many measures in place as possible to limit the impact on the general public and to protect performers.

A pole and stage where girls will perform sexy dances is already in place, but will be taken down on week nights.

Five booths for private, fully- nude, dances have been installed, with red carpets and fake zebra skin coverings. They are fitted with microphones to ensure the girls are safe. A flat above the club has been converted into changing rooms and lockers for the dancers.

3rd October

Update: Licensed To Make up the Law

Surely the new law on age discrimination should apply here and at least remove York's arbitrary 21 year old age restriction.

Based on an article from This Is York

4 Nuns dancing

Church approved steps

A total of seven city businesses have inquired about opening lap-dancing clubs in York.

City of York Council has revealed that the recent relaxation of licensing laws has seen a number of inquiries from businesses interested in opening venues which provide exotic dancing.

Next week, members of the council's licensing act committee will meet to discuss the performance of exotic dance. The council is looking to advise its members of the operational implications of the new act in relation to the performance of exotic dance and "entertainment of a sexual nature".

Members who attend the committee meeting, on October 6, will be told that while the licensing authority cannot object to the establishments on moral grounds, it can take into account the increased risk to licensing objectives.

A report, written by Richard Haswell, the council's head of licensing and regulation, writes that the authority would not normally grant licences where operating schedules would involve such "entertainment" near schools, churches, hospitals, youth clubs or other places where significant numbers of children are likely to attend.

It states that suggested conditions attached to the granting of licences could include:

  • A requirement that no exotic dancing will take place before 9pm
  • CCTV cameras being installed, maintained and operated in all areas where dancing takes place
  • No-one under 21 being allowed in areas where performances are taking place.

Shameful Clifton ward councillor Ken King, a member of the licensing act committee, patronised: I don't have a problem in principle with these establishments, although I do sometimes feel sorry for those people who feel they need to go to them.

I wouldn't want to see York being saturated with these types of establishments. It is possible, depending on the location, that we could accept the odd one.

Seven would be too many. That would seem a lot for a place the size of York. I just can't imagine there would be the clientele within the city to make that many viable. I can only imagine that people would come in from outside.

 

30th September

    Crewe Sheds Its Nutter Image

Based on an article from ic C heshire

Pole DancingA lap dancing club has opened in Crewe amid nutter claims it will shatter efforts to improve the town's image to potential investors.

Manhattan on High Street was packed out for its VIP opening night on Saturday despite protests by Christian nutters suposedly concerned about the exploitation of young women.

Plans to open the club were unveiled in July when management at the former Squires bar applied for a licence to stage adult entertainment. Despite objections from church leaders, it went ahead. Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council ruled it could not refuse the application on moral grounds.

Christian campaigner Peter Powell, a member of Astbury Parochial Church Council, said: My concern is for the girls, probably trying to make some cash as they go through college. It's degrading for them and the town, especially when millions are being spent to give it a more upmarket image.What will investors think of us now?

Rev Rob Wykes of St Paul's Church on Hightown said: This is the last thing Crewe needs. Such an establishment gives the town a sleaze image especially when it already has two sex shops on main roads and a number of massage establishments known to be in operation.

But club owner Austin Salmon said the response on Saturday showed his new customers thought otherwise: Many of them were couples and some came up to me to say they were having a great time, and were impressed at how classy the bar was.

 

23rd September

    Age Old Problems

We should be celebrating that the guy can still enjoy the simple pleasures of life. No doubt the holier than thou shits in Bournemouth reckon that the guy should 'get a girlfriend'.

Based on an article from the Daily Mail

Humps for 1/2 mileA 95-year-old man has been arrested during a police operation against kerb-crawlers in Bournemouth.

The pensioner was detained by officers after he was seen to pick up a prostitute in Bournemouth, Dorset, but he was let off with a reprimand because of his age.

Inspector Mark Kelly said: He had been driving around, picked up a girl, took her somewhere nearby and officers intervened as they were getting down to sexual activity. They arrested him and brought him in but the custody sergeant felt a reprimand would be most suitable rather than put him through the courts system. We felt with his age it was not in the public's interest to proceed any further.

During the six-month crackdown, police arrested 40 men in the town seen looking for sex and of these, 35 will be attending a rehabilitation course.

Police shits may also send letters to the licence holder of the vehicle which could mean their spouse or employer.

Since April, 26 prostitutes have been arrested in the town and 35 'working women' have been cautioned - up almost nine-fold on the cautions handed out the previous year.  The number of arrests of men looking for prostitutes has also risen by 500% compared to the previous year.

 

22nd September

  Updated  Wiggle Room

Based on an article from This is Dorset

Wiggle Supper RoomsBournemouth businessman Richard Carr's controversial "upmarket gentleman's dining club" was granted retrospective planning permission recently.

The bar and club owner was forced to submit a change of use application for Wiggle Supper Rooms in Old Christchurch Road following an investigation by council enforcement officers.

After long and heated discussions, planning board members endorsed their officer's recommendation to grant the application.

Carr told the board how he had spotted a hole in the market for an upmarket gentleman's dining club. I know it doesn't suit everyone's taste but you don't have to go there if you don't like it. Food is available at all times.

Cllr Roger West said: I'm glad we are getting a bit of honesty now. This is a lap-dancing club with food. However, he praised the developers for bringing a lovely old building back to life.

Approval was granted on the condition that food is available at all times at the former register office. However, Carr's request for a 3.30am closing time was refused after the board agreed that the premises should shut at 1am from Sunday to Thursday and at 2am on Friday and Saturday.

 

15th September

    Judge, Jury, Marriage Wrecker

For What? Wrecking people's marriage for such a trivial offence. That's if any was committed in the first place. What sort of shits are these Norfolk police

From Norwich Evening News

Humps for 1/2 mileIt's not the sort of letter you would not want your wife or girlfriend to open - but more than 60 men have been written to by Norfolk police advising them their cars have been spotted in the city's red light district.

Last summer posters sprang up in the city's red light district warning drivers who pick up prostitutes that their registration plates were being recorded on CCTV cameras.

Drivers whose cars had been seen regularly driving up and down areas such as Rouen Road, Mountergate and King Street have been sent letters which could prove a little embarrassing.

Inspector Kevin Clarke, who took up the reins of policing in the city centre in May and has sent out a dozen letters since taking over, said: Clearly it could be extremely embarrassing if such a letter ends up on the doormat and is opened by a wife or partner but we make no apology for that.

The letters sent outline the fact that the vehicle has been seen a number of times in the areas of Norwich which are frequented by prostitutes.

 

11th September

    Tricky Dicky's

Umm...not sure about the name, it conjures up an image of an unflattering mask of Richard Nixon.

From the BBC

A Women's lap dancing club is set to open in Birmingham. Tricky Dicky's will employ 22 male dancers to entertain a female audience.

The club is due to open next week in the Chinatown area, next door to another lap dancing club for men.

Owner Richard Power said: When I was doing my market research it was ok for a male to go to a club and see female dancers but it was not ok for his partner or wife to go. I have actually turned the tables. I'm not doing it in a seedy way, I'm doing it professionally. I have 22 of the fittest male dancers. The beauty of it is women can just come out and let their hair down and have fun.

Update: The venture is on hold apparently until the rent is paid.

 

9th September

    Surely Police Obscenity

I wonder what is going on here. Presumably not R18 material as the police claim that it is obscene.

From Yorkshire Post Today

Yorkshire Police raidA man and a woman were arrested in Barnsley by the Metropolitan Police's Obscene Publications Unit after more than 1,500 pornographic films were found at their address yesterday.

The pair were arrested as part of Operation Vibola, targeting what is believed to be the selling of obscene material via the internet.

Vibola's first raid took place on 24/8/06 when officers from the MPS Obscene Publications Unit executed a search warrant at a residential address in Burton, Dorset.

Inspector Chris Bedwell, in charge of the Met's Obscene Publication Unit, said: This, our second raid under Operation Vibola, shows that we are tackling the people who produce and sell these obscene films.

We hope to work closely with internet auction sites to prevent people from selling obscene materials, but we will deal robustly with those who knowingly allow the films to be sold on their site.

 

1st September

    AntiSocial Police Behaviour Observations (APBOs)

The Government pass laws to criminalise prostitution and then whinge when it causes a nuisance. They should simply allow prostitution in a manner that does not cause nuisance. Then we don't have to waste money on puerile polices actions like this and nobody has to be punished or threatened etc. And more people can enjoy the simple pleasures of life

Based on an article from This Is Badford

Humps for 1/2 mileNearly 200 kerb-crawlers have been warned in a new crackdown on the sex trade on Bradford's streets.

Vice squad officers with nothing better to do have handed out 195 warning orders to men caught cruising the red light areas in cars.

Drivers on the prowl for prostitutes have been issued with Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) in a scheme run jointly by Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Police since January 2004.

Kerb-crawlers who breach the contracts two or three times can be referred to the Council's anti-social behaviour team, who can then ban them from the city using Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs).

But none have been issued against any kerb-crawlers since the scheme began. Five men have breached the warning order and have received a final warning of court action for ASBOs.

A police spokesman said: We are pleased with the way our strategy in tackling prostitution in this city is going. It is a joint approach between ourselves, the Council and other partners including voluntary agencies. We are also committed to helping women out of prostitution. Officers will continue to vigorously deter and punish drivers who go around looking for prostitutes.

A Bradford Council spokesman said the lack of referrals seemed to indicate the scheme was working.

 

30th August

    Nutters For the Violation of Human Rights

Based on an article from The Scotsman

Job centre vacancy boardJobCentrePlus has advertised the job, for a "dancer" at an Edinburgh nightclub on its website,

Women's rights nutters have now launched a campaign against the policy that allows job centres to advertise such vacancies - brought in by Westminster three years ago.

The advert for the job, based in Edinburgh city centre, says the successful applicant will have to perform duties including entertaining customers, pole dancing and private dances - and assures candidates: Previous experience not essential as full training will be provided.

The issue has also sparked a disagreement between Westminster and the Scottish Executive, where a spokesman for Scottish ministers said the policy to allow such jobs to be advertised openly by JobCentrePlus was "deeply regrettable".

Opposition to the policy is led by Rape Crisis Scotland, who have slammed it as "legitimising" the exploitation of women. The campaign's  national coordinator, Sandy Brindley, said she had complained to people at JobCentrePlus, who had told her all legitimate sex industry jobs were allowed to be advertised after the High Courts upheld a challenge from sex toy and lingerie chain Ann Summers.

Brindley said: We will do everything we can to reverse this ridiculous policy. It is also very concerning that job centres have started advertising jobs in the sex industry, given what we know about the links between lap dancing and prostitution.

A spokeswoman for JobCentrePlus said the body advertised any job vacancies provided they are legal.

 

26th August

    Nimcy: Not in My Church Yard

Based on an article from Oldham Advertiser

Pole DancingChurchgoers in Shaw have joined the campaign to block a planned lap dancing club in the centre of the town.

The proposal, which has been given the green light by Oldham's licensing panel, has provoked the inevitable response from local nutters.

Legends, where the lap dancing sessions will be held, is also next door to St Paul's Methodist Church. Its minister, the Rev Eddie Gordon, said: My main objection is the location of the club. But we wanted to find out about what our church members thought so on Sunday they signed a petition supporting an appeal by Oldham Youth Service against the licensing panel's decision.

An action committee has been set up to support any appeal against the granting of the licence. The closing date for any appeal is Tuesday.

Cllr Diane Williamson, chairman of Shaw and Crompton Parish Council, also objects to the club.

Speaking in a personal capacity, not in her official position, she said: This is not about whether lap dancing clubs are a good thing or not. They may well have their place in society. But my real concern and, it seems to me, that of others who attended this week's meeting, is the siting of this particular club. [yeah yeah!]

Club owners accused opponents of the lap dancing club of being scaremongers. They said no immediate residents had complained and neither the police nor the council's child protection unit had any representations.

Update: Nov 2006: The club didn't work out and eventually went into liquidation

 

15th August

    Customers No Longer Dying to Visit Stringfellows

Based on an article from The Independent

Stringfellow's logoOnce hailed as one of London's hottest nightspots and a place for celebrities to be seen, Stringfellows in London's West End has lost its sparkle, according to critics.

On what should have been one of the busiest nights of the week, late last Friday, the club that bears the name Peter Stringfellow, stood practically empty.

Following a disastrous attempt to open a branch of the club in Dublin earlier this year, and repeated rejections of applications to extend its drinking hours, the club faces a heavy financial blow.

This stems from an incident in October 2004, when a lap-dancer caught the eye of a 34-year-old marketing director, George MacDonald, from Southam, Warwickshire, who was out with friends on a stag night and was alleged to have pulled her towards him. He was thrown out of the club and had his jaw broken by Marcus Marriott, a former amateur boxer and one of the club's bouncers. MacDonald fell to the ground, fracturing his skull, and died minutes later. Marriott was convicted in January of manslaughter and jailed for three years.

Accounts just filed to Companies House show that Stringfellows has made provision for £1m in potential compensation and legal costs to the customer's widow and two children. Stringfellow Restaurants Limited, which operates the club, made a £1.2m pre-tax loss in 2005 compared with £127,000 profit the previous year.

The lap-dancing club, with its well-known "no touching" policy, has been overtaken by more raucous competitors in recent years, such as the Spearmint Rhino chain, offering punters more flesh for their pounds.

 

28th July

    What Women Want

From The Sun

What Men Want DVD coverFive million British girls are boosting their love life by watching blue movies with their fellas, research shows.

They spend £1billion a year on porn DVDs, videos, websites, phone downloads and magazines.

64% of girls said they view porn with their fellas and 40% admitted it spices up their love life.

But 19% said partners were shocked that they were into porn.

5% said it harmed their relationship.

The Club International magazine poll found half of men preferred to view porn alone.

 

25th July

    Police Out of Order

Based on an article from Lancashire Evening Telegraph

Pole DancingAlans have been submitted to open a new lap dancing bar in the middle of Burnley town centre. The bar would be based above Calamity Jane's in Hammerton Street.

Burnley Council will have to decide on whether or not to let the club get the go-ahead although it is understood there have been initial concerns from police over proposed levels of nudity and contact between customers and dancers.

 

24th July

    Nutters want Dancing Canned

Based on an article from the Voice

Disused Anchor PubEast London nutters are up in arms at the prospect of a lap-dancing club in their Canning Town neighbourhood.

The usual bollox of a nearby school is the convenient cover for their displeasure. Star Primary School is within 100 yards of the disused Anchor Pub on Star Lane.

A company called Klub Klass plan to develop the old pub as a club for adult entertainment between the hours of midday and 2am primarily targeted at Docklands businessmen.

Nutters and employees of Star Primary School in Canning Town  have vowed to fight against the application. The Headteacher, Marion Rosen, thinks the club would be a mistake for the community and the children. The building is basically as close as you can get to the school without being in our playground.

Crumbling after years of wear and tear, the building was earmarked for housing development but when the deal fell through, it stayed vacant, much to the dismay of Rosen, who thinks it would be better utilised as community space: I would love to set up a trust and get a grant and try and buy it. We could use it as a part of the school or we could use it as a youth club.

Rosen said: For those of us who object to the opening of the club, there are very tight criteria for objecting. And if we don't phrase our objections in the right language, the club could get the green light. You can't object on moral or religious grounds either. Our private views do not come into it. The only things we can object on are about crime and disorder, public nuisance, public safety and the protection of children from harm.

 

23rd July

     Nutters Stripped of Time

Based on an article from Banbury Guardian

Pole DancingA Banbury club called Casseopiea will offer lap dancing, pole dancing and nude performances at the former Churchill's club premises in Broad Street.

Cherwell District Council said the licence application was decided by officers rather than being discussed by councillors because there had been no objections from the public when notices were displayed.

Astrid Keen of Banbury, has now belatedly launched a petition after plans for the county's first 'gentleman's club'. She this is because nobody was aware of the proposals.

Keen believes that instead of introducing entertainment for over-18s, more should be done to promote a family environment in the town.: The people who live near the club will have it in their face all the time. I wouldn't want to be living across the road from it and I don't want it in my town.

 

21st July

    Peckham Blues

Based on an article from ic South London

Peckham High StreetAn application has been lodged to allow Blues nightclub, in Peckham High Street, to introduce 24-hour lapdancing,music and boozing.

The plan comes as the Rembrandt's lap-dancing club saga in Tooley Street, near London Bridge, rumbles on. The council initially gave the raunchy nightspot the go-ahead before public outrage forced it to change its licensing rules. Rembrandt's is now opening as a piano bar after the building's owners, Network Rail, raised concerns.

However, the council's new regulations have yet to be fully agreed and the Peckham club's application could go though before councillors are able to use more repressive powers.

Town centre nutter Eileen Conn is mounting a bid to stop the 24-hour licence: It has nothing to do with the fact this is a lap-dancing club. That is not the issue at all. [yeah yeah] . The problem is this is not the right place to have an all-night club.

The consultation period about the application ends on August 8.

 

7th July

    Corporate Decision

From the Evening Echo

Stringfellow's logoStringfellows in Dublin closed its doors for the final time this week, after less than six months in business.

The lap-dancing club had been targeted by protestors since it opened in February of this year. Protest groups and a number of local residents attempted to block the club in the courts. They were unsuccessful, but managed to considerably delay the venue's opening.

Management said that this contributed to the club's demise. In a statement issued today, they said they had taken the move to shut the doors amid ongoing protests outside the club, and that these which protests had led to some reluctance to visit the club amongst the corporate sector.

 

7th July

    The Only Coercion & Trafficking was the forced Deportation Ordered by the Court

Thanks to Alan

There was a recent police raid at Cuddles massage parlour in Bearwood, Birmingham. This was reported in sensationalist papers such as The Scotsman as follows:

Cuddles Massage frontageNineteen women believed to have been locked up and forced to become sex slaves have been freed by police after a raid on a massage parlour.

Fifty officers from West Midlands Police, including 25 women, stormed the premises on Thursday evening and arrested two men and a woman who are believed to be the managers. A sawn-off shotgun and three extendable batons were found on the premises, which has an electric fence at the rear.

The girls, who come from Greece, Latvia, Turkey, Poland, Italy, Japan and Hong Kong, were also questioned by police with the help of interpreters.

Police were looking into allegations that they were brought to this country after being promised jobs as nannies and waitresses, and said that immigration officers had been informed.

Detective Inspector Mark Nevitt of West Midlands Police led the operation at the massage parlour. He said: Cuddles massage parlour was targeted as part of intelligence gathered through Operation Strikeout, which targets robberies and violent crime. We went to the property to execute a warrant in human trafficking, and intelligence suggests the girls were brought into the country under false pretences, sold on and held against their will. These girls could be subject to violence, sexual assaults and forced to work as prostitutes. There were 19 women in there in total and they were obviously very distressed so the female officers also helped to calm them down,"

Now that the court case has ended, it has transpired that the women weren't coerced or trafficked, but were working for a well-managed brothel. The only "coercion" or "people trafficking" that has taken place is the deportation of the non-EU prostitutes.

The salient features seems to be:

  1. It took the local constabulary about three years to realise that a massage parlour called "Cuddles" was a knocking shop.
  2. They then raided mob-handed with a bus-load of coppers, with the following apparent results:
    a. The tarts didn't back claims of "people trafficking".
    b. The British and EU working girls were turfed out of a safe and evidently well-run brothel to the hazards of the street.
    c. The non-EU women were sent back to pick spuds in Romania or wherever, rather than earn a reasonable income and remit money to their families back home.
    d. The female defendant is reported by her neighbours to be terrified of going to prison, wondering "what will happen to my cats?" (Seriously dangerous criminal, yeah?)

From a relatively sensible comment by Bob Piper , a local councillor at the time of the raid:

We went to Bearwood Jazz Club last night and we heard the police sirens screaming out on our way down there. This was over 50 of the finest the boys in blue could muster, including a number of armed officers. Suddenly, the whole world's news media now seems to have descended on to our sleepy suburb. Instead of a peaceful out of town commuter spot, we find ourselves host to an international sex trafficking trade with girls from across Europe locked into the Cuddles massage palour during the evening to work, and taken away during the day and locked in a house.

The excitement continued through to this morning when a man claiming to be the 'cleaner' arrived in a 4x4 Mercedes and found himself "assisting the police with their enquiries."

Interestingly enough, although The Birmingham Evening Mail carries banner headlines about last night's raid headed "Police swoop in battle to stamp out vile trade" in the same edition they carry their own advertisement for.... Cuddles Massage Parlour!

 

7th July

    Registering as Lap Dancing

Based on an article from This is Dorset

Wiggle Supper RoomsRichard Carr's new restaurant in Bournemouth's old register office faces calls for enforcement action after it opened to the public offering topless pole dancing displays and private dances.

But councillors fear they have been misled after Wiggle Supper Rooms in Old Christchurch Road opened last Friday with half-naked women performing on stage and girls offering private dances.

Cllr David Smith, Central ward councillor, has asked planning officers to investigate whether Carr is in breach of his planning conditions: Bournemouth needs high quality establishments that will attract people of all ages and backgrounds into the town centre, not more lap dancing venues.

Sally Wilton, who runs employment agency Staff2000 opposite, said her worst fears had been realised: They have been blatantly advertising for dancers for weeks so it was obvious this was going to happen.

Carr initially reassured residents there would be no live dancing of any description at the restaurant in Old Christchurch Road. He later said it would host a cabaret-style show featuring dancers and comedians but insisted it would be Bournemouth's version of the Moulin Rouge.

On Monday, he defended the restaurant, saying: I have always said that there will be live entertainment. There are girls on stage and yes, you can have a private dance at the side of your table. I trade under A3 planning permission, the same as For Your Eyes Only, Spearmint Rhino and Rubyz. There is nothing within the planning laws that says you can't have entertainment in the restaurant, as long as the primary function is selling food. Why should I be singled out when Rubyz has A3 planning permission and has transvestites dancing on stage? For Your Eyes Only has A3 planning permission, Spearmint Rhino has A3 planning permission. I'm not doing anything different to any of those.

Michelle Henry, council spokeswoman, said: We have received complaints regarding the use of Wiggle Supper Rooms and the alleged breach of conditions relating to existing planning permissions. We will be investigating these as a high priority. Should we find breaches of planning conditions, your readers can be assured that we will take all necessary action to rectify these. However we can't comment further until our investigations are complete.

 

3rd July
updated to
10th July

    Battle Royale

Based on an article from Halifax Courier

Halifax Theatre RoyalThe former Theatre Royal was converted to a nightclub in 1999. It is now proposed as the second lap dancing club in Halifax.

The owners face opposition from police over the new licence for the former Club Platinum, at Ward's End, because it supposedly does not make sufficient provision for preventing crime and disorder.

The application by Provence Commercial Properties, of Bolton, is due to be heard by Calderdale Council Licensing sub-committee next Thursday.

David Drucquer, Calderdale police licensing officer, said: There are crime and disorder concerns regarding the extent to which lap-dancing will take place, access by people under 18 and the provision of regulated door supervisors.

Halifax's first lap-dancing business, La Salsa, in Silver Street, opened in 2003. Initially there was considerable opposition to the club and councillors rejected a bid for it to be allowed to remain open until 3am, but they eventually relented.

The licence application for Club Platinum indicates that it will be open Sunday to Wednesday from 9am until 2am and on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until 4am.

10th July

Update: Morality above Legality

I find it hard to believe that a lap dancing club appealing to an older or mixed age audience can be considered as more likely to cause disorder than a club targeted at drinking youngsters.

Based on an article from Halifax Courier

Halifax Theatre RoyalThe owners of one of Halifax's biggest clubs have dropped plans to turn it into the town's second lap-dancing nightspot because of police supposed fears about disorder.

But they have been given a new premises licence for Club Platinum at Ward's End, to be run as a conventional nightclub, open until 4am at weekends.

Calderdale police licensing officer David Drucquer said there were crime and disorder concerns regarding the extent to which lap-dancing would take place, access by people under 18 and door supervisors. But following talks with the applicants, these concerns had now been resolved.
He said: We had no objection to erotic dancing as such, but where it was combined with a nightclub and there was no separation of these functions, the licence requirements could not be met.

 

29th June

    Dancing Rhino in Norwich

From Norwich Evening News

Spearmint Rhino logoSpearmint Rhino, the world's most famous lap-dancing chain, has revealed it plans to open for business in September in Dove Street, part of the Norwich Lanes.

A spokesman for Spearmint Rhino said: The location in Norwich is a good site, and as far as we understand the licensing and planning regulations are already in place. We have builders fitting out the venue at the moment .

At present there are six Spearmint Rhino clubs in the UK, two in London, two in Birmingham, and one each in Bournemouth and Sheffield.

Norwich already has one lap-dancing club at Devil's Advocate in Timber Hill, but while that has been met with opposition in the past there have been no objections to Spearmint Rhino setting up in the area. Managers of the Devil's Advocate were forced to take down its advertising at Riverside after it angered rival bars in 2003. Plans for Teasers strip club in Dove Street were abandoned due to a high number of objections - managers wanted the club to open at lunchtime.

Lap dances at Spearmint Rhino clubs in the UK cost about £20. It is understood the venue will open for business on August 14, although the Spearmint Rhino spokesman could not confirm that date.

 

23rd June

    Scottish Women for the Burkha

Why don't the Scottish Executive come out of the closet and admit to their love of the Burkha, They clearly hate anything whatsoever to do with people enjoying their sex life.

From The Scotsman

Scottish Women for the BurkhaScottish ministers are to push through legislation in the next ten months to make kerb crawling and paying for sex a criminal offence in Scotland for the first time, it emerged yesterday.

Margaret Curran, the minister for parliament, told MSPs the Executive would bring forward a short and simple bill to criminalise the buyers of sex, as well as the sellers.

At the moment, although prostitution is not against the law, prostitutes can be prosecuted for soliciting. There are no specific sanctions against kerb-crawlers or people who pay for sex, although men can be prosecuted for minor charges of breach of the peace.

Ministers said the men who purchased sex should be criminalised in the same way as the women who sold it.

The Executive had planned to include its proposals to criminalise kerb-crawling in its Sentencing Bill, but ministers had become increasingly concerned that the pressure on parliamentary time, particularly in committee, might have jeopardised their chances of getting such a big and complex bill through parliament before next year's election.

The prostitution provision will now be dealt with on its own, in a separate bill, which will be allocated to a different committee to make sure it becomes law by next May's election.

Two other policies, which ministers were considering for the Sentencing Bill, will now be dropped, at least until after the next election. One of these was a crackdown on extreme pornography, making it an offence to possess, not just publish, extreme material.

Ministers are hopeful that the prostitution legislation and the Sentencing Bill will be on the statute book before parliament's dissolution next April, ahead of May's Holyrood elections.

 

12th June

    Can of Worms

Based on an article from Newham Recorder

Nutter's of London Canning Town are campaigning to stop a pole dancing club opening on the site of an old pub.

Newham Council has received an application for 20 Star Lane to be used for lap dancing and pole dancing between midday and 2am, Mondays to Sundays. The application was submitted on May 18, giving interested parties 28 days from that date to express their views.

This means nutters opposed to the club have until June 16 to register their views. The application will then be considered by the Licensing Committee.

 

11th June
updated to
20th August

    Museum Living in the Past

From This is Bradford

Blue Pelican frontageThe National Museum of Photography, Film and Television is trying to block plans for a pole and lap dancing club nearby,  saying it would be "wholly inappropriate" next to Bradford's top family attraction.

Owners of the Blue Pelican bar, in Little Horton Lane, have applied for changes to their licence to allow the entertainment.

A letter to Bradford Council's licensing team from the museum said: The location of the Blue Pelican between the museum and the popular ice skating rink makes it inevitable that a great many children will be forced to walk past a lap dancing club, often during its hours of operation, on their way to or from these destinations.

They also argue that the likely clientele would cause a "public nuisance" to museum customers and those at the nearby ice rink, as well as to female students living nearby.

Martin Hubbard, a director of Blue Pelican Bradford Ltd, which owns the bar, previously told the Telegraph & Argus: This would not be a seedy operation. It isn't striptease and we would adhere strictly to the allowance. The Blue Pelican has agreed to make the windows opaque and not to advertise lap dancing outside the bar.

The Council's Licensing Panel will be asked to make a decision on Monday.

16th June  

Update: Museum of Fuddy Duddy Councillors

Based on an article from This is Bradford

Blue Pelican frontagePlans to open up a pole and lap dancing club in Bradford' have been passed - but with ludicrous conditions. The owners of the Blue Pelican bar, in Little Horton Lane, applied for changes to their licence to allow the entertainment.

The panel ruled dancing could go ahead but not until 11pm and banned two cubicles for private dances. It also said CCTV footage from the club had to be kept for 30 days and handed to the police on request.

Chairman of the panel, Councillor Matt Palmer said: This decision was made on a split vote. It was made reluctantly. None of us believe the most appropriate location for a lap dancing club is next to the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television.

He urged the owners to consider an alternative location with less stringent conditions.

Martin Hubbard, a director of Blue Pelican Bradford Ltd, which owns the bar, defended their plans. He said: There will be do advertising outside whatsoever - it will all be away from the site. The windows will be opaque and it won't look any different from the outside to what it does now.

The Blue Pelican, will be the only lap dancing club in the city. It will be allowed pole dancing on stage, lap dancing and striptease from 11pm to 4am six days a week. On Sundays the entertainment must stop at 2am.

There must also be two doormen at the entrance at all times and the owners must co-operate with the Pubwatch scheme.

14th August  

Update: Council Back Off from Ludicrous 11pm Opening Time

Based on an article from This is Bradford

Blue Pelican frontageLap dancing at what will be Bradford's only venue moved a step closer today.

Plans to turn the city's Blue Pelican bar into a pole and lap dancing club were held up when strict licensing conditions ruled dancing could only take place after 11pm.

It followed objections from the neighbouring National Museum of Photography, Film and Television. Now the Council's licensing panel has agreed they can open from 9pm

In June the bar's owners were granted a licence despite the museum's objections that it would be inappropriate next door to Bradford's top family attraction.

Negotiations between the club and the museum followed and yesterday the licensing panel agreed they had no choice but to alter the hours.

Council licensing officer Frank Suadwa told the panel the museum has since agreed children were unlikely to visit after 8.30pm unless for special IMAX events. As such they would have to bring the opening time forward.

After the meeting, chairman of the panel, Councillor Matt Palmer, said: We still think it's not the right location for a strip club, but the photographic museum have agreed 9 o'clock is a reasonable time to start, and on that basis we have no option but to agree.

Other conditions - including no cubicles for private dances and CCTV footage kept for 30 days - remain The club will be allowed pole dancing on stage, lap dancing and striptease until 4am six days a week, and until 2am on Sundays.

 

20th August

    Update: Green Light for Blue Pelican

Based on an article from This is Bradford

Blue Pelican frontageA lap dancing bar has been given the green light to open. Plans to turn the Blue Pelican bar into Bradford's first pole and lap dancing venue by licensee Kevin Morrisroe were given the final seal of approval during a hearing at Bradford Magistrates yesterday.

The decision followed months of opposition from the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, around the corner from the planned Little Horton Lane bar. However, magistrates agreed to strict conditions on the club, including a ban on private cubicles and a 9pm start for dancing, initially approved by Bradford Council's licensing panel.

The 9pm start-time represented a compromise agreement after the Blue Pelican's owners had appealed against an earlier ruling by the licensing panel that dancing should not start before 11pm. The venue had initially applied for a 7pm start time.

Martin Hubbard, a director of Blue Pelican, had previously told the Telegraph & Argus that it would not be a "seedy" operation and had agreed not to advertise lap dancing outside the bar.

Following the go-ahead, the club will now have to follow regulations including restricted drinking hours from 7pm to 4am, Monday to Saturday, and 7pm to 2am on Sunday; rebuttal of proposals for private cubicles and private areas; entertainment including lap dancing, striptease and pole dancing to start at 9pm to 4am Monday to Saturday and 9pm to 2am on Sunday.

Other conditions state that existing CCTV equipment should be in good working order and recordings should be retained for 30 days and handed to the police on request. It also ruled that at least two security staff should be on the door and that licensees co-operate with any pubwatch or similar initiative.

 

10th June

    Big Brother Not Given Sight

From the BBC

Bar Humbug entranceA Nottingham lap dancing bar has had its licence revoked after a panel found it had breached its licensing agreement several times.

Nottingham City Council took action against Bar Humbug on Friar Lane after police found the club was serving alcohol after hours. Officers also said an underage test purchaser was served and CCTV records were not being properly kept.

Heather Middleton, deputy force solicitor for Nottinghamshire police, said: The main breach was the CCTV, which should have been maintained in accordance with the positions already agreed with them. CCTV is the main security within the premises both for the people that work there, the lap dancers and people that go there, so it should have been kept up to scratch.

Ian Walker, director of the club, said he would appeal against the decision: We are very sad about this decision, obviously there's been a lot of investment in terms of time and money here. On the advice of our solicitors, we will be appealing against the decision with the next 21 days and while the appeal is going through we will continue to trade.

 

5th June

    Evil Dr MGM Wants to Control the World

Based on an article from MI6

007 Gentleman's Club logoAmerican movie giant MGM has threatened a Stoke-on-Trent lap dancing club with legal action over its name. Solicitors acting on behalf of the owners of the James Bond trademark have written to the team running 007 Gentleman's Club in Bryan Street, Hanley, claiming they are cashing in on the glamorous connection.

The legal action comes less than a month after the club opened and was sparked by an invitation to its launch night on April 28.

A letter from London-based law firm Richards Butler claims Terazza Limited, owners of 007, is infringing copyright and trade mark rights.

It is demanding the club removes all references to James Bond, or characters from Bond movies, from the club, its website and any advertising, promotional material or stationery.

It also wants ownership and control of the internet domain 007gentsclub.co.uk and for Terazza Limited to undertake not to use any imaging or reference to the Ian Fleming-penned international spy.

 

5th June

    Bubbles 'n' Babes

Based on an article from ic Coventry

Bubbles n BabesA group of glamour girls are lining up to provide motorists in Coventry with a topless car wash. Drivers pay £25 to have their car washed by a team of women wearing bikinis. For an extra fiver they take their tops off.

The business is moving to the city from Hinckley where it faced problems with the local council. The car wash owners ended up in a dispute there with planners over use of premises and also posters in the town advertising the service.

But boss John Bevins says he's moving to Coventry because it makes commercial sense. He reckons his Bubbles 'n' Babes business will go down better in a city and he opens up tomorrow on the Rowleys Green Industrial Estate opposite the Ricoh Arena. He said: This is something completely different to anything people will have seen in Coventry before. He insists his business is not seedy or exploitative and hopes to open soon in Birmingham and Nottingham.

 

29th May

    Ministry of Crime Creation

The Government ban a much demanded trade and the whinge when it resurfaces where it causes problems. They should simply legalise the trade and ensure that it can be operated in a way that does not cause undue nuisance.

On the positive side perhaps the Government will go along with their idea of allowing mini brothels.

Based on an article from the Belfast Telegraph

Bollox new laws to crack down on hookers and kerb-crawlers in Ulster are on the way.

Criminal Justice Minister David Hanson intends shortly to issue a consultation document to review existing legislation. And it is expected that an Order amending the Sexual Offences Act will be put before Parliament after the summer recess.

Residents of apartment blocks in Belfast's Adelaide Street had complained of having to run a nightly gauntlet of pimps and kerb-crawlers mistaking them for hookers and rent-boys. The situation had been brought to a head by the upsurge of new apartments in former commercial areas of the city where hookers have long plied their trade.

Police admitted they were powerless to act against kerb-crawlers because under existing laws it is not an offence.

A NIO spokesman said yesterday: We are looking at what needs to be done on a co-ordinated basis and hope to bring forward firm proposals as quickly as possible.

Home Office proposals for England and Wales have called for kerb-crawlers to be "prosecuted rigorously" They have also recommended new penalties to get prostitutes off the streets, including an offence of loitering or soliciting for prostitution.

 

29th May

    Paisley Nudity Prudity

Based on an article from  ic Renfrewshire

Club Tiger Lily logoPaisley's first lap-dancing club has  opened for business, with topless girls performing for guys in search of titillation.

Bosses had this message for protestors who believe the club will drag Paisley into the gutter: Don't get your knickers in a twist.

All will be revealed tomorrow night as the first customers arrive at Club Tiger Lily, in Causeyside Street.

Customers at Club Tiger Lily, in Causeyside Street will be able to watch scantily-clad women performing pole-dancing on stage and can then pay £10 for a topless dance in a private booth. But club bosses have stressed none of the dancers will go completely nude.

Of course nutters and politicians are not impressed.

Rosemary Davidson, assistant pastor at the nearby St Matthew's Church of the Nazarene said: I am very concerned about this club and I would encourage people not to go there. The sort of thing that will be taking place there is not in line with the Christian values we wish to promote. [ie intolerance and bigotry]

Members of the Paisley and District Evangelical Alliance, which is a group of local churches working together, fear the club will do untold damage to the town's reputation.

Shameful Paisley South MSP Hugh Henry is among those who are calling on local people to boycott the club: The opening of this club is a sad day for Paisley. There is no place in this town for so-called entertainment which demeans and degrades women.

Shameful Paisley North MSP Wendy Alexander said she is quietly confident the club will not last long in the town: I think the decent, law-abiding folk of Paisley won't want to bother with this sort of late-night pursuit. It is not what the town centre needs.

 

28th May

    People Like Porn

Based on an article from The Independent

The Independent logoRecord numbers of men and women are downloading pornography from the internet, making Britain the fastest-growing market in the world for the booming £20bn adult website industry.

In the first definitive portrait of the nation's consumption of pornography, The Independent on Sunday can today reveal that more than nine million men - almost 40% of the [adult?] male population - used pornographic websites last year.

In a major survey for the IoS by Nielsen NetRatings, a world leaderin internet analysis, research discloses that women are among the fastest-growing users of pornography on the internet, with a 30% rise from just over one million to 1.4 million in the past 12 months. The figures also show that more than half of all children - some seven million - have encountered pornography on the internet "while looking for something else".

Until now, the extent of the use by Britons of internet pornography had not been accurately measured. But the new figures show that one in four men aged 25 to 49 have visited an adult website in the past month - a total of 2.5 million.

The UK porn industry is estimated to be now worth about £1bn, compared with £20bn worldwide. British internet surfers look up the word "porn" more than anyone in the English-speaking world.

Perhaps to illustrate this here, are the top search terms used to find melon farmers. 65004: sex 36344: adult 24043: porn 16341: dvd 14883: shops 14250: shop 12484: video 9359: movies 9246: videos 8920: xxx 8309: tv8196: snuff 8059: lap 7323: online 5918: hardcore 5863: dvds 5431: british 5056: magazines 4924: phone 4646: films 4435: private 4423: dance

 

26th May

    Estimating the Glasgow Sex Industry

Based on an article from  The Herald

Pole DancingMen in Glasgow spend an estimated £6.6m a year on prostitution, visiting saunas, private flats and escorts.

Peers and MPs were told that despite the efforts of the police, council and voluntary organisations, the sex industry in the city was expanding with lap-dancing clubs and other services opening up.

Giving evidence to Westminster's joint committee on human rights, Ann Hamilton, of the corporate violence against women section at Glasgow City Council, said it was difficult to build a true picture of the extent of the problem because the sex industry was very much "underground". [Where mean minded people put it!]

However, Hamilton said one analysis suggested 264,000 visits to prostitutes at a cost of £6.6m a year on saunas, flats, escorts . . . and other take-away sex services , an average spend of £25.

She said as long as there was a market for sex in Glasgow, there would be a market for trafficking vulnerable foreign women into the city.

We know of 112 foreign women involved in prostitution in Glasgow, and that will certainly be an underestimate, she said. We know a lot about how the women suffer. What we don't know a lot about is the men who are buying their services,   Hamilton said.

The committee, which is conducting an inquiry into human trafficking, heard how Glasgow was one of the leading cities in its approach to tackling human trafficking. Three years ago, the council established an inter-agency working group involving the Scottish Executive, Strathclyde Police, the NHS, immigration services, Women's Voluntary Network, Scottish Refugee Council, and Glasgow asylum support service.

 

21st May

    Pirates Boarding the Mainstream

The UK release was massively censored by the BBFC (94mins cut) but the uncut region 0 DVD is available from BritVids

Based on an article from AVN

Pirates DVD cover The hardcore release, Pirates , has been named one of Home Cinema Choice magazine's "Top 50 Greatest Import DVD's of All Time," receiving a cover mention and an insert in the June 2006 issue.

Pirates is the only adult DVD to make the list, coming in at No. 38. It ranks above such Hollywood hits as Godzilla and Clerks , and alongside T2, Kill Bill, Sin City, Batman and Legend .

Home Cinema Choice dedicated a 32-page supplement to the 50 movies that made the cut. In its review, Home Cinema Choice said, [Pirates] is a rip-roaring swashbuckler punctuated by 10 trouser-tenting sex scenes in which Jolly Rogers get hoisted, main braces get spliced an some keels get well and truly hauled... In fact [Pirates] takes adult movies to a whole new level and it's a small wonder that Pirates won just about every 'adult' award going.

 

25th April

    Don't Forget Guido the Killer Pimp

So before you consider giving the girl the 3rd degree as suggested, think about what would happen if you found out that she was being trafficked. No doubt tears and drama would ensue. Maybe the killer pimp in the next room would see himself going down for a massive sentence and he may consider it inadvisable to let you out alive!

Based on an article from The Guardian

Men who knowingly have sex with trafficked prostitutes will be prosecuted for rape as part of a police crackdown, the Guardian has learned.

A drive to cut the demand for trafficked prostitutes will target punters by urging them to report any contacts they have with trafficked women and making it clear that action will be taken against any who have sex in the knowledge that the woman has been trafficked.

The crackdown will be publicised with advertisements in "lads' magazines" and on websites used by men who buy sex. There is growing concern that young men are beginning to enjoy life and frequent brothels as casually as they would a pub or bar.

The initiative is part of Operation Pentameter, involving police, the immigration service, National Criminal Intelligence Service, Foreign Office and representatives from the travel industry.

Men who visit a sauna, brothel or flat where foreign prostitutes are working will be being asked to ensure the women are there of their own free will before they pay. If they suspect a woman is working against her will, they will be urged to contact Crimestoppers and provide police with the establishment's location.
South Yorkshire deputy chief constable Grahame Maxwell, Pentameter's programme director, said: Trafficked women are being forced to work through fear and intimidation. Men who act as their clients risk being charged with rape.

 

25th April
Updated to
9th May

    In the Lap of Prudes

Based on an article from The Herald

Pole DancingLap-dances should effectively be banned in Scotland, with dancers made to perform at least one metre from their customers, an official report to ministers will say today.

To force the industry up-market and reduce the risks of prostitution, there should also be a ban on all private booths in lap-dancing bars and clubs. In addition, lap-dancing, pole-dancing, stripping and other forms of live adult entertainment should be controlled by a new national licencing regime, regardless of where it occurs. The report says dancers should not be allowed to touch themselves, and sets out a graphic list of simulated sex acts it says should be banned.

The changes, which are designed to stamp out adult entertainment, are among 11 recommendations being made to ministers by the Scottish Executive's Adult Entertainment Working Group. [Which predictably contains nobody to represent customers].

In survey work, it found around three-quarters of the public were in favour of regulation rather than a total ban on the activity, which it defined as the performance in a public place of any activity which a reasonable person... would consider to be for the purpose of sexual gratification or titillation . One of the supposed problems it identified was  the current licensing regime allows pubs to put on lap-dancing without an entertainment licence. Five of the seven venues in Edinburgh are in this category – trading on liquor licences alone by claiming lap-dancing is not their main line of business.

Introducing a new type of licence will require primary legislation at Holyrood, but as an interim measure licensed premises could be covered quickly by attaching new restrictions on licences.

To create a national standard for adult entertainment, the group also recommends what dancers and strippers should not do. Allied to the ban on booths, which is meant to limit the opportunity for prostitution by ensuring no activity occurs out of sight, the report says there should be CCTV in all venues, although the degree of surveillance will be a matter for local authorities. Councils will also be able to decide whether full or partial nudity is appropriate in each venue.

The recommendations will now be considered by Tom McCabe, the minister for public sector reform whose remit includes licensing. The most controversial idea is likely to be the minimum of one metre between dancers and customers. It will effectively end up-close lap-dances for which punters pay a premium of £10 to £20.

28th April

  Update: Nutters Drooling over New Repression Opportunity

Based on an article from The Scotsman

Pole DancingEdinburgh's lap-dance clubs are to be asked to sign up to a voluntary code of conduct which would have them follow tough new rules ahead of a change in the law.

Strip clubs would have to remove all private booths and fit CCTV cameras in a bid to protect lap dancers from being forced into doing anything illegal. The code would also ban performers dancing within one metre of customers and make sure clubs do not employ performers under 18.

Most of the measures were proposed earlier this week by a Scottish Executive-appointed working group which is looking at changing the law on strip clubs. The legislation needed for the new licensing system proposed by the group is unlikely to be completed until 2008 or 2009.

Tollcross councillor, the shameful Lorna Shiels, who served on the group, has won the backing of the city's Labour administration for a motion to next month's council meeting to consider a voluntary code. Shiels said she hoped a voluntary code could be introduced within months.

And she said she was optimistic most of Edinburgh's seven lap-dancing venues - six of which are in Tollcross - would be willing to make the changes ahead of a new law. She said most of the clubs in Edinburgh did not have CCTV cameras.

She said: What I'm looking for is a voluntary code they can sign up to now. We've been assured by the operators' representatives we spoke to that the good operators would embrace this because it helps differentiate them from sex-industry outlets.

Cllr Shiels accepted some of the clubs might refuse to sign up to the code. But she said: They will stand out as sleazy joints that don't want to promote women's safety and don't care about the community. And they will be competing against other venues promoting entertainment rather than sleaze.

Steve MacDonald, of Big Daddy O's on Lothian Road, criticised the move and said the industry is being unfairly attacked. This is a continuous, relentless onslaught.The rhetoric of councillors and MSPs is absolute nonsense. We are not operating in a cavalier attitude - the fact is we have a licence, and therefore the kind of behaviour some people thinks goes on just doesn't happen. Working conditions in these premises are already exemplary.

9th May

Update: Dancers Distance themselves from Scottish Prudes

Based on an article from The Herald

Pole DancingProposals to ban close-up lap-dancing in Scotland will slash dancers' wages and could drive some women into prostitution, MSPs have been told.

The move could also expose women to greater risk of physical and sexual assault by driving stripping underground, with dancers working in unsafe environments such as private parties and hotel rooms.

The claims are made in a 17-page dossier sent to MSPs by a group of exotic dancers in the first signs of a fightback from within the industry.

The reaction follows a report last month by the Scottish Executive's adult entertainment working group.
After a year of visiting strip clubs and lap-dancing bars, the group said there should be a ban on all private booths used for close-up dances, with women forced to perform at least a metre from customers.

Veronica Deneuve, who has been dancing in Scottish clubs for four years, compiled the dossier after talking to other performers around the country and canvassing industry opinion via her website.
Her report says some of the group's ideas on better working conditions in clubs are sound. However, it claims that the proposed ban on lap-dances is misguided and moralistic and betrays an ignorance of what dancers do and want.

She told The Herald: Who's going to buy a dance a metre away? Our earnings are going to plummet. A dancer who's making £200 a night (now) is going to make £40 (in future).  I know a few girls who would turn to prostitution and I don't want to see that happen to them.

A spokesman for Tom McCabe, the minister who must now consider the group's proposals, said he had yet to take a formal position, adding: If people have strong views, then we would listen to them.

 

23rd April
updated to
4th August

    Late at the Office

From Morecambe Online

Pole DancingStrippers performed for paying customers in Morecambe last weekend at the resort's new pole dancing bar. But after a good first weekend of trade, the leaseholder of The Office says my customers would rather have lap dancing. Alan Crookall will now apply to Lancaster City Council for a licence to allow the venue to be used for lap dancing as well as pole dancing.

The Office opened for business on Thursday night on the site of the former Oyster pub on Morecambe promenade. Customers were charged £4 admission to see women perform topless dance routines around a pole on a stage.

It was busy enough over the weekend but the customer demand is for something more than just pole dancing, said Alan: The concensus of opinion was that after watching 20 minutes of the girls dancing around a pole, the customers, both male and female, would like a full lap dance and I understand where they are coming from. The lads want to come in, have a bit of fun and be pampered, and have a chat with the girls, instead of just standing there and watching them.

The Office is open from Wednesdays to Sundays.

4th August

Update: Staying Very Late at the Office

From Morecambe Today

Pole DancingMorecambe's first all-nude lap-dancing club could be open by the end of this month.

Councillors on Monday's city council licensing sub-committee gave permission for The Office, which currently hosts pole-dancers in its seafront upstairs rooms, to offer lap-dancing, with women allowed to be totally naked and make physical contact with their customers.

Under the terms of the premises' licence, it can also, if it wants, stay open seven days a week, until 4am.

The Office proprietor, Alan Crookall said: We were basically given permission for everything we asked for. We have run as a pole-dancing club for a while now with hardly any complaints at all and we run our security properly.

 

17th April

    Nutters Pick and Choose when sex is Dirty and when it is Great

From the BBC

Baby Jesus Butt PlugA Christian couple have set up a website, www.whollylove.co.uk, offering sex toys and advice specifically aimed at married couples. Stella and Stan Hagarty, from Bridgend, south Wales, say sex is a great gift from God and should be celebrated.

They set up the site after visiting a sex shop to spice up a wedding anniversary, but say they were shocked at the prices and sex aids on offer.  Sex has that forbidden, dirty image but sex in marriage is God's idea and it's great, said Mrs Hagarty.

Mrs Hagarty said the Christian faith had for too long focused on the negative side of sex like pornography and prostitution, and had forgotten about promoting the positive side like sex within marriage.

My husband and I  decided to visit a high street sex shop to liven things up a bit, But we were really shocked at the price of things in there and the things on offer which seemed to focus on pornography and bondage, which is not what we see as fitting within a Christian marriage. A few days later, Stan came to me and said, 'Let's set up a Christian sex site'.

The couple researched the idea and sought advice from church leaders, who they said supported it.

 

15th April
updated to
19th August

    Nutters Shake & Quake in Burnham

Based on an article from Burnham on Sea.com

ShakersLap-dancing looks set to be introduced at a Burnham-On-Sea night club after a request submitted to town planners got the go-ahead on April 11th.

Shakers night club in the High Street, in a building previously used as a Quaker chapel, had requested a variation to its licence in order to open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, and introduce occasional lap dancing.

Two formal objections have already been lodged against the proposal. Former Mayor Louise Parkin said: You have two different sides here - those who want the town to stay an old, quaint, slightly behind-the-times place and those others who want it be brought up to the minute.

Town councillors discussed the plan and gave a cautious green light to a limited extension of trading hours and the introduction of lap dancing.

Shakers had applied to extend its opening hours to 11pm-2am every night between Sunday and Thursday, and 11pm-4am on Fridays and Saturdays. But councillors said they were concerned about noise and nuisance problems in the area. Burnham's Deputy Mayor, Cllr Dennis Davey, said: I have received a considerable number of complaints from people in Cross Street and Adam Street with reference to late night noise and general nuisance problems in this area.

Shakers also wanted to allow the re-entry of clubbers into the club after midnight in anticipation of the smoking ban. Under the proposal, clubbers would be able to leave the building, have a smoke and get back in to the club, but concerns from local residents about noise in the early hours of the morning led this to be turned down.

Planning Committee Chairman Cllr Peter Clayton said this is "an area of concern." He added: We don't want partially intoxicated people in the street in the early hours of the morning in an area where there are lots of nearby residential properties. I would not want to see alcohol served after 2.30am and feel that a closing time of 4am is just too late.

Cllr Peter Clayton told the council that it only has a limited number of issues it can use to complain about a licensing application and added: What we can object to here is very limited. We can't simply make a moral judgement, even if we are against lap dancing.

The committee gave a thumbs-up to the proposal on the condition that:

  • In the interests of protecting children, no advertisements of an adult nature be placed outside the club.
  • There should be no variation in the re-entry of clubbers after midnight, and no external area outside the club for smoking.
  • No alcohol should be served after 2am.
  • The club should close at 2.30am, regardless of the time of year.

The application will now go to Sedgemoor District Council for a final decision.

28th May

  Update: Nutters, Shakers and Banners

Based on an article from Burnham on Sea.com

ShakersPlans to introduce lap dancing at Shakers night club in Burnham-On-Sea have this week been turned down by a licensing panel.

Shakers had requested a variation to its licence in order to open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, and introduce occasional lap dancing.

But at a meeting of Sedgemoor District Council's licensing panel on May 24th, the committee rejected the application after reviewing the comments of local police, residents and councillors. They were supposedly concerned about the impact that the longer opening hours would have on the community around the building.

Town councillors had discussed the controversial plan at their planning meeting in April - and said they were concerned about noise and nuisance problems in the area.

Shakers also wanted to allow the re-entry of clubbers into the club after midnight in anticipation of the smoking ban. Under the proposal, clubbers would be able to leave the building, have a smoke and get back in to the club, but this prompted concerns from local residents about noise in the early hours.

19th August

  Update: Shakers on Appeal

Based on an article from Burnham on Sea.com

ShakersPlans to introduce lap dancing at a night club in Burnham-On-Sea will be debated again in September.

Burnham-On-Sea.com learns Shakers night club has just submitted an appeal to Sedgemoor's licensing panel following a decision in May to turn down its application to introduce lap dancing at the premises.

 

11th April

    Heaven in Stourbridge

Based on an article from the Express & Star

Stourbridge's first lap dancing club opened at the weekend. Heaven opened its doors in Lower High Street, at 8pm on Friday.

Owner and Pub Watch chairman Steve Cartwright said the club, which was granted a licence by Dudley Council, would be strictly run and was for over 21s only.  The new club could employ up to 15 dancers.

Stourbridge MP Lynda Waltho said she was disappointed it was opening: I fear it will undermine recent efforts to restore Stourbridge to a more family friendly venue for all ages at night times and may give Stourbridge a sleazy name tag.

But Councillor Les Jones, who is spearheading the revamp of Stourbridge town centre, welcomed the new venture. He said: If we want to make the town more cosmopolitan we have to embrace things like this.

 

10th April

    Good Clean Fun

Based on an article from The Sun

Jon Bevins has opened a topless car wash in a Leicestershire village. The firm, Bubbles 'n' Babes, has attracted more than 200 customers in a week and is already taking £900 a day.

The price is £25 for a wash by four girls in bikinis. For an extra fiver the girls whip their tops off.

But nutters in Burbage near Hinkley are furious. One villager, who did not want to be named, said: It lowers the tone. You might as well open a brothel or a sex-shop. It just doesn't seem right. Everyone is up in arms about it. It's attracting Peeping Toms.

Jon said: It's totally harmless. What we're offering is nothing more than a bit of slap and tickle. The police and council are fine with it.

 

9th April

    Government to 'Help' Sex Workers by Putting them in Jail

From 24 Dash

New measures designed to help prostitutes escape from the sex trade will backfire and lead to a significant increase in the numbers being sent to jail, a leading academic warned today.

Jo Phoenix said "clumsy" Government attempts to encourage sex workers on to drink and drug rehabilitation programmes would effectively act as a "crackdown" against them. The fact that prostitutes faced prosecution for failing to comply with the support schemes would result in a higher number of prison sentences. This, in turn, would make it even harder for sex workers to leave the industry because they would then have a criminal record, she said.

The strategy includes measures to encourage women to get help with drink or drug problems. These include creating a new penalty for the offence of loitering or soliciting for prostitution so courts can direct women into drug or alcohol treatment programmes rather than fining them. Prostitutes can then be bound by Anti-Social Behaviour Orders or Drug Treatment Orders to attend these classes, but face criminal proceedings and the possibility of a jail term if they fail to comply with the schemes.

 

7th April

    Underground Lapdancing

Based on an article from The Scotsman

Fears have been raised that a government clampdown on the sex industry could force Edinburgh's lapdancing scene underground.

A Scottish Executive taskforce is due to report next month on whether tighter controls are required for strip bars and clubs.

The committee is understood to be considering a number of steps including banning "private dances" being offered to customers and forcing all strip clubs to hold entertainment licences.

But industry experts today warned that a clampdown could force many bars out of business and see an increase in the number of performances outside  licensed premises.

And insiders fear the working conditions of the estimated 150 lapdancers in the Capital could worsen as a result.

Ana Lopes, founder of the International Union of Sex Workers, said a similar clampdown in London did little to improve the rights of performers: If the committee comes out with recommendations that are too harsh then it will make things worse for performers because many bars just won't bother and there will be fewer places to work. The demand for adult entertainment will always be there but if the scene goes underground then there is more chance of people being exploited because we will not be able to monitor it.

"The focus of this group should be support for the full labour rights for workers and improving their working conditions.


The Executive taskforce - known as the Adult Entertainment Working Group (AEWG) - found that five of the seven operating in Edinburgh were doing so without an entertainment licence. At the moment licensed premises can become lapdancing venues without seeking permission from the licensing authority.

 

1st April

    Brothels on Every Corner Shop

Based on an article from Islington Gazette

Nutters fear Finsbury Park could become a red light district after the revelation that a high class brothel was operating in the area.

Sauna 2K in Seven Sisters Road was run as a sex parlour by Eastern Europeans who were jailed last year.
The case hit the headlines again in February when prosecutors announced that they had given up looking for the seizable profits, but although there is no link between the sauna's current operators and the sex trade, residents are shocked by what was going on under their noses.

Samantha Dixon said I think prostitution is a problem here. You do see people in the street. It's an issue. And with the Government and the Mayor of London talking about people legalising some brothels, it has struck a chord with people.

Dixon, who is also a representative of the Christian People's Alliance in Finsbury Park, added: The focus on Sauna 2K has made residents realise that brothels have been run right on their doorstep and this directly affects them. If they are legalised they could become as common as corner shops round here.

The Government announced in January that the law could be changed to allow two prostitutes and a receptionist or maid to work together in "mini brothels".

 

31st March

    Nutters on Show

The usual bollox is that adult entertainment is not welcome near schools, churches, residential areas etc. But even when out in the countryside it is still not acceptable!

Based on an article from ic Coventry

Nutters living near Stoneleigh Park agricultural showground have welcomed a decision to ban lap and pole dancing.

The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) had applied for a licence enabling it to hold sexy shows such as lap dancing.

Local nutters were though disappointed the showground is now licensed to hold a range of events, including boxing, wrestling and music concerts.

David Storey, managing director of Stoneleigh Park Ltd, the company which runs the showground on behalf of RASE, said the contraction of the agriculture sector in the UK had forced it to diversity into hosting a variety of events.

 

30th March

    Hurdles at Newmarket

From the Cambridge Evening News

Nude lap and pole dancing is coming to Newmarket with the announcement of a new "gentlemen's club."

High Street nightclub, Club M, which has been closed for about a year, is set to become Heaven: the ultimate lap and pole dancing experience.

The move follows more than three years of controversy which has seen previous bids to open similar clubs thrown out by council planners after local opposition.

But now the club looks set to over-ride opposition because there is existing planning permission for a nightclub and its entertainment licence would allow naked dancers to perform.

The new club is set to be run by Rob Bell and Jason Newell, whose bid to convert neighbouring offices into a lap and pole dancing club were rejected more than a year ago when planning permission was refused.

Sally Rode, spokeswoman for Forest Heath District Council, the planning and licensing authority, said: The current licence will allow pole and lap dancing. But we have had no application for a transfer of the licence to new licensees.

Prices will be £10 to watch topless dancers and £20 for a completely naked dancer in a private area.

 

18th March
Updated to
21st July

    Ken's Bollox Revealed

Well at least the councilors aren't in a position to be tempted to put their own morality above the law which they seem to do with some sex shop licence applications.

Based on an article from the London Se1

Tooley Street lap dancing venueOn 15 December 2005 Southwark Council's licencing sub-committee granted a licence to The Rembrandt Club on the corner of Tooley Street and Weston Street. The licencing application was contested - unsuccessfully - by London Bridge Hospital and Southwark Cathedral, who engaged legal representation and ran up a bill of £16,000.

In his monthly report to the London Assembly, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone reveals that he has approved a contribution of £4,000 from the GLA's professional witness reserve towards the cost of the Cathedral's opposition. Livingstone says that he considers the cost appropriate, in view of the saving made by [the GLA] not making a full objection in its own right.

Opposition Assembly members have criticised the expenditure: Ken Livingstone loves grandstanding at taxpayers' expense and this is just the latest example, says Angie Bray, Conservative spokesman on culture, sport and tourism.

The Rembrandt Club has already become a political football, with Labour literature attacking the Lib Dems for allowing the club, and local Lib Dems blaming the Labour Government for its reform of the licencing laws.

The dispute between Southwark Cathedral and the Rembrandt Club follows the Cathedral's strenuous opposition to the Wicked fetish club in the vaults below the approach to London Bridge.

This time round the sub-committee was bound to consider applications on legal criteria alone, and was unable to take into account moral objections or wider council policy on the sorts of businesses suitable for the area. The committee imposed a number of conditions on the licence for the club, which is due to open later this year. It will have to have blackened windows and security staff on the doors and will not be allowed to stage its nude lap dances before 9pm. But, after objections from the owners, the licensing committee has agreed that they can accept assurances from their employees that they are not engaged in prostitution or have criminal records. No one representing the club was available for comment yesterday.

Riverside ward councillors - including council leader Nick Stanton - have made it clear that they do not welcome the club, but complain that their hands are tied by the Licencing Act 2003.

25th March

Update: Nutter Ken

Absolute Bollox from Ken, the area is right next to London Bridge station and the surrounding area is basically office space for City workers. Children would see no visible difference between the lap dancing venue and any of the many nearby pubs. (Many of which are on one of my favourite pub crawl circuits)

I struggle to believe that the area could be categorised as residential, and if there are any resident parents, they already must have found a way of explaining away the large amounts of drunk office workers on a pub crawl.

Based on an article from the London Se1

Tooley Street lap dancing venueSpeaking at Mayor's Question Time on Wednesday, Ken Livingstone pledged to continue to oppose the planned lapdancing club on Tooley Street. Addressing members of the London Assembly at City Hall, the Mayor of London branded the decision of Southwark Council's licencing committee to grant a licence to the Rembrandt Club on Tooley Street as "bizarre".

Livingstone told reporters at his weekly press conference that the Tooley Street site was certainly not appropriate . We have other boroughs taking a very different line. Westminster City Council has taken a very firm line. Their guidelines state that 'applications involving nudity or strip-tease or sex-related entertainment will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and applications involving nudity or strip-tease will not be granted in close proximity to residential accommodation, schools, places of worship, community facilities or other public buildings'.

The reality is that this immediate area is a major centre for tourism and particularly for family-related tourism. All of us see literally tens of thousands of families queueing with their children to go to the London Dungeon, the history of war museum, coming to look around Hay's Galleria, and of course the Unicorn children's theatre is now constructed virtually opposite the site of this lap-dancing club and I would assume that there's absolutely no earthly reason why Southwark Council couldn't have taken the same robust approach that Westminster City Council does on this.

So I've asked our officers to see whether we can support an appeal against this - they will know hopefully by the end of today [Wednesday] - and if that is the case it is my intention that the GLA should underwrite the cost of the appeal in the hope of overturning this.

3rd April

Update: The Altarboy and Wanker

This is the first time I have heard of a 'faith area'. This area is located in the financial centre of London. The local beer cathedral is the 'The Barrowboy and Banker' and it surely has more adherents than the nearby nutter cathedral, 'The Altarboy and Wanker'

Based on an article from the Bloomberg

Tooley Street lap dancing venueThe dean of Southwark Cathedral, the Very Reverend Colin Slee, and Mayor Ken Livingstone are aiming to stop the opening of a lap-dancing club near the church in south London.

Slee and Livingstone are appealing the decision by Southwark Borough Council this month to grant a license to Rembrandt's, a club that will feature topless women as entertainment.

Slee is arguing the license should never have been granted or should have contained more conditions limiting the club's operations. At Livingstone's request, the city government provided 4,000 pounds ($6,900) to help fight the case.

It is a matter of great regret that we have to appeal, Slee said in an e-mailed statement today. We have looked to our local authority to defend the success and regeneration of the neighborhood as a faith area and successful area.

10th May

Update: In the Lap of Southwark Cathedral

Based on an article from ic South London

Tooley Street lap dancing venueThe opposed lap dancing club will open near Southwark Cathedral despite opposition from The Church and London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

The Church and Livingstone launched an appeal against Southwark council's decision to allow Rembrandt club to open up in Tooley Street.

But the case has been rejected for "technical reasons"- and licensee Gerard Simi is claiming victory. He said the club would open up in a couple of weeks.

Livingstone said: I regret our appeal has been rejected for technical reasons. It is unacceptable that such a club should be allowed to open so close to schools, tourist attractions and offices.

Dean of Southwark, the Very Reverend Colin Slee, said: This extremely frustrating matter is in the hands of our lawyers to resolve. The Cathedral is considering lodging an application for judicial review on several counts.

16th June

Update: Nutter Ken Dances away from a Legal Challenge

Based on an article from the London Se1

Tooley Street lap dancing venueKen Livingstone has abandoned his legal challenge to the Rembrandt lapdancing club on Tooley Street.

Local residents were told at a City Hall meeting that the mayor's legal advisors had advised him to halt his attempts to seek the revocation of the Rembrandt club's licence via the courts. Instead he will continue to support local groups calling on Southwark Council to review its licensing policy.

The Mayor has received legal advice on how to proceed with the case against the opening of a lap dancing club near London Bridge , a GLA spokesperson told the London SE1 website.

It has been found that the best way forward is to continue to work alongside local residents, businesses and other objectors to highlight and to challenge Southwark Council on its licensing policy, which has allowed an establishment like this to open so close to schools, tourist attractions and offices.

1st July

Update: Nutters Wish Burkha on Southwark Lap Dancers

Based on an article from the London Se1

Tooley Street lap dancing venueA seven strong delegation was was received in the council chamber where Jilly Frisch, secretary of the Shad Thames & Tooley Street Association, was allowed to address the council assembly.

Southwark protestorsThe protesters are opposing the opening a lap dancing club near the London Dungeon in Tooley Street. Jilly Frisch, who said that a petition had attracted 850 signatures, told councillors that residents were disappointed that they had not been consulted. She pointed to a recent report which indicated that cases of rape increase in proximity to such clubs.

She warned that the sex industry could find it easy to open in Southwark and called for Southwark Council to consider adopting the tough policy pursued by Westminster City Council. Her five minute plea was met with applause from the crowded public gallery.

The delegation's call for Southwark to follow the Westminster example was taken up by deputy Labour leader Councillor Fiona Colley but her motion was defeated after the Liberal Democrat majority insisted that council ability to act was constrained by the government's recent licensing legislation. An amended motion calling for a change in the law, proposed by Chair of Licensing Councillor Linda Manchester, was agreed.

Labour's Councillor Susan Elan Jones, making her maiden speech in support of Councillor Colley's motion, revealed that her attempt to research the lap dancing issue had been blocked by the town hall IT department as the subject was deemed unsuitable for access by council staff.

The demonstration and delegation was supported by the following organistions: Boormund Centre, Britain at War Museum, Downside Fisher Youth Club, GLA Unison Branch, HMS Belfast, Islamic Forum Europe Southwark, London Bridge Hospital, London Dungeon, Old Kent Road Mosque & Islamic Centre, Peckham Islamic Centre, Poole of London Partnership, Salmon Youth Centre, Snowsfields Primary School, Southwark Asian Organisation, Southwark Cathedral, Southwark Heritage Association, Southwark Multi faith Forum, Southwark Muslim Council, Shad Thames Residents Association, Tooley Street TRA, Tower Bridge Primary School and Unicorn Theatre for Children.

5th July

Update: Lap Dancing Derailed

Based on an article from 24 Dash

Tooley Street lap dancing venuePlans to open a lap-dancing club at London Bridge against the objections of the Mayor of London, local residents and businesses, look likely to be halted.

Network Rail, the owners of the premises at which the lap dancing club was to be located, have now written to the mayor, Ken Livingstone.

They have made clear they have no intention of allowing their premises to be used for such a purpose and that the leaseholder will be in breach of their lease if they try to go ahead with the London dancing club.

In correspondence between the Mayor's Office and Spacia (the trading arm of Network Rail), Spacia said: The general objections to the proposed lap dancing club have been noted and I can advise that Network Rail take a similar view. Under the terms of the lease for the premises consent is required for the proposed change of use. Network Rail has refused to grant consent. The leaseholder will not be permitted to use the premises for this purpose and would be in breach of the lease if the use is carried out on the premises.

Livingstone said: I welcome Network Rail's decision. They are to be congratulated on taking their responsibilities to the local area seriously. Local residents and businesses have made clear that they are totally opposed to a lap-dancing club in this area. The result of a similar establishment caused serious nuisance particularly for women working and living in this area.

11th July

Update: Interfering Ken

Based on an article from the ic South London

Tooley Street lap dancing venueRembrandts Club may start trading soon - despite London Mayor Ken Livingstone claiming he is close to stopping it.

Livingstone's office has released a statement from Spacia, a property division of Network Rail, suggesting the club will not open.

Network Rail owns the premises and has written to the Mayor in support of his opposition to Rembrandts. It reads: Under the terms of the lease for the premises, consent is required for the proposed change of use.

But Gareth Hughes,the legal representative for club owner Gerard Simi, said: I understand it will be opening up. In what manner, I do not know. The police and council have agreed and signed up. It's only the Mayor continually interfering.

The secretary of the Tooley Street tenants' and residents' association, Vanessa Shone said: It's excellent news if this is going to stop it opening, but it's a bit late.   Shone believed Rembrandts might open next Friday to celebrate Dutch master Rembrandt's 400th birthday the next day. Simi did not wish to comment.

21st July

Update: Interfering Ken

Based on an article from the ic South London

Tooley Street lap dancing venueRembrandt's lap-dancing club saga in Tooley Street, near London Bridge, rumbles on. The council initially gave the raunchy nightspot the go-ahead before public outrage forced it to change its licensing rules. Rembrandt's is now opening as a piano bar after the building's owners, Network Rail, raised concerns.

 

12th March

    Kerb Crawling Legislation Crawling in Northern Ireland

Always whinging at the customers rather than the crap legislators who won't allow prostitutes to work in a nuisance free manner.

Based on an article from the BBC

Some residents in Belfast city centre have said they are frustrated that street prostitution is still going on. At a recent public meeting, they said there was little improvement since they last raised concerns in January.

The government said a new law against kerb crawling was a priority but would not be in place for at least a year. Kerb crawling is an offence in the rest of the UK but not in Northern Ireland. The police said they would continue to patrol the area but had no powers of arrest.

The public meeting was told there were about 50 brothels in Belfast and that some Northern Ireland laws on kerb crawling are 150 years old. People living in the city centre said prostitutes and kerb crawlers operated in the area seven nights a week. Some Business people were also unhappy at the situation.

 

8th March

    Commercial Entrapment

If street prostitution so much of a problem why don't they simply allow a legal off street way of enabling the trade. Why do they have to criminalise law abiding people who just want to enjoy life?

Based on an article from the East London Advertiser

A police sting operation on male kerb-crawlers led to 31 arrests in an area of East London noted for prostitution. There were further arrests for prostitution, drug and immigration offences.

Female police officers posed as prostitutes to entrap men in the Commercial Street area recently. The operation ran from Monday to Thursday, and saw a team of 15 officers, including nine in plain clothes, hitting the streets every night.

Sergeant Dave Grainger, who runs the Spitalfields and Banglatown Safer Neighbourhood Team, said the men arrested for kerb-crawling included top professional executives as well as unemployed: It's not just one type of person who does this; it's a cross-representation of professions, races, and ages.

The youngest man arrested was 17, and the oldest was 60.

 

28th February

    Glasgow in the Lap of Nutters

Based on an article from the Evening Times

Councillors and church nutters in Glasgow are opposing a bid for lap dancing at a bar in the the city centre.
Fuse - on Nelson Mandela Place, near Scotland's top shopping thoroughfare - wants to hold regular topless strip nights.

But the council, which has a policy of objecting to all lap dancing applications, is to oppose the request to the city's licensing board.

And the minister from nearby St George's Tron church said he would also object to the application, which, if given the go-ahead, would become the city's fifth lap dancing venue.

Fuse's owners say pole dancers will perform possibly four times a week and there will also be private dances in "corporate areas". However, they say strippers will not be the main business of the aspiring upmarket venue, which already hosts jazz and comedy nights.

Shameful Jim Coleman, deputy leader of the council, said the location of Fuse was of particular concern. He added When will they get the message? This kind of entertainment is not welcome in Glasgow. It is against the council's policies on equality, violence against women and prostitution. The message is quite clear - the people of Glasgow do not want this. We're not going to go down the route of Edinburgh and the likes and allow the city to be taken over by these sleazy venues.

The Rev Nutter Dr William Philip, from St George's Tron, said: We have objected in the past to a similar application elsewhere in the city centre. We will also object to this - not because it's on our doorstep but because this is not the kind of thing we should have in this city.

The club owner said: This is not going to be some sleazy strip joint. The only nudity, if any, will be toplessness. We attract an upmarket crowd - media types, like actors from River City. We go to great lengths to look after the safety of our staff and customers - both men and women. We have applied for the exotic dancing licence so we can offer that extra dimension too. We expected the objections and we will work with the licensing board and take their advice.

The new application emerged less than a week after another city venue, Destiny, cancelled a one-off strip night after Coleman threatened that he would object to its licence renewal.

14th March

  Sending Personal Messages

Based on an article from the Evening Times

Plans for Glasgow's fifth lap dancing club have been rejected. But already the refusal to grant Fuse nightclub, just off Buchanan Street, a licence for topless dancing has sparked a major row and may end up in the courts.

The city's licensing board refused the application following a dramatic split vote, with those opposing the bid winning by a single vote. Councillors who sit on the board decided the city already had too many such venues.

The city council had lodged an objection, in keeping with its policy of blanket opposition, and hired a lawyer to make their case. The board heard how lap dancing clubs from London to the US were associated with sex crimes in the vicinity of the venues, how girls were harassed by customers and that sex was often offered for sale in such clubs.

The council also argued that opening such a venue just off the city's main shopping thoroughfare would be detrimental to Glasgow's image as a commercial hotspot. But the board's chairman, Councillor Gordon Macdiarmad said applications can only be judged on their own merits and not examples from other countries. He also asked Superintendent John Farrell of Strathclyde Police, what problems lap dancing clubs caused in the city centre and was told they presented less of a nuisance than most "conventional" bars and clubs. And he insisted there was not a problem with over-provision of licensed premises in Glasgow.

But despite his concerns with the objection, seven of his licensing board colleagues voted against the application. Last night, Douglas Fisher, who runs Fuse in Nelson Mandela Place, said he was "flabbergasted" by the decision. He said: I thought it was cast iron. We made a very forceful case and Councillor Macdiarmad didn't seem impressed with what the council's lawyer had to say. We gave all the undertakings and had a very good application. But we have six weeks to make an appeal and will be speaking with our legal representatives to see if we have grounds for an appeal.

In the past decisions made by the board have been challenged in court and overturned. An expert source said: It seems again many members of the board have voted as councillors and not board members. The council's policy of opposing these applications took precedence over the facts of the application. And that could be challenged and when tested against the law could well be overturned. My feeling is this will again open a legal minefield. And if it goes to the sheriff court it will be the council tax payer footing the bill.

A council spokeswoman said: We are delighted the board has refused the application. This sends out a clear message that these kinds of establishment are not wanted in Glasgow. But the authority refused to comment on the grounds of the refusal.

 

22nd February

    Persecution in Wolverhampton

It never fails to amaze me how much councils and Government whinge when their own policies backfire. You would think they would be cowering in embarrassment at having produced such crap legislation. If they simply allowed a legal form of prostitution that minimises nuisance, then they wouldn't have to go out persecuting innocent men who just want a quick shag.

Based on an article from the BBC

A poster campaign has been launched in a bid to keep kerb crawlers away from Wolverhampton. Posters telling kerb crawlers to "Get out and stay out" and warning they are risking losing their driving licence went up around the city centre. In addition, electronic signs warning kerb crawlers they face a driving ban are being installed on major routes in and out of the city.

The city council says it is determined to clean up its street sex trade.

More than 60 men have been arrested in Wolverhampton for kerb crawling in the past two years. About 90% of those arrests resulted in convictions.

All Saints and Parkfields, areas generally known as the red-light district, are undergoing a multi-million pound regeneration project.  Dr Adrian Phillips, director of the city's public health service and chairman of the Prostitution Task Group, said the Royal Hospital site was also being redeveloped as well as the Cable Street industrial area.

Like all many nutters he self importantly feels he can speak for everybody: The campaign is direct and hard-hitting and sums up the attitude of the community to kerb crawlers.

Supt Keith Baldwin, of West Midlands Police, said Wolverhampton's street sex trade was no worse than any other city: The partnership of Wolverhampton's public and voluntary organisations in tackling this old problem is proving to be very effective indeed

 

20th February

    NoCredit for NoChex

From the London Fetish Scene

I've just received an email from Internet credit card payments service, Nochex, which reads:

" ........ The Nochex terms and conditions were modified 19th January 2006 to the effect that the processing of Adult related transactions was no longer allowed using the Nochex service. We believe that your account is being used to process Adult related transactions and as a consequence unfortunately we have had to close your Nochex account with immediate effect...... "

First it was Paypal who disassociated themselves with anything adult (when they got bought out) which is why so many people switched onto Nochex, which no longer seems an option

 

18th January

Updated 28th January

    No Respect for those Denying Others a Sex Life

From The Telegraph

Prostitutes will be allowed to work together in mini-brothels under plans published by the Government yesterday.

New laws will see prostitutes getting help for drug and alcohol problems rather than being fined
At present, only a single prostitute working from home or a room escapes prosecution provided she does not solicit for business. Premises with two or more women offering sex are defined as brothels and are unlawful.

The Government aims to change the legal definition to allow three individuals, including a "maid" or receptionist, to work together, thereby decriminalising small brothels. Ministers said the aim was to make prostitutes safer from attack.

Hours after the Home Office announcement, Downing Street stressed that the change did not amount to official approval of prostitution. No 10 is alarmed at the impact the plan will have on the Prime Minister's respect proposals aimed at protecting citizens from low-level crime. Tony Blair's spokesman said that neighbours unhappy about the presence of prostitutes would be able to call for police or court action to stop any nuisance activities under anti-social behaviour laws. This should not be seen as some sort of approval. It is not. We are not legalising brothels.

Downing Street intervened after sex industry campaigners denounced the strategy as too timid because the Government had backed away from a more radical overhaul of the laws on prostitution, which have been unreformed for more than 50 years.

Ministers rejected ideas set out in a consultation paper two years ago for legalised red light zones, a register of the country's estimated 80,000 prostitutes and licensed brothels - reforms that would effectively have decriminalised the entire sex industry.

Instead, they outlined plans to help more prostitutes change their way of life through drug treatment and housing programmes, while encouraging the police and courts to adopt zero tolerance of kerb crawlers, more of whom could lose their driving licences or be named and shamed. First offenders will have to attend a £200 re-education course at their own expense.

Fiona MacNutter, the Home Office minister, said: I cannot accept that we should turn a blind eye to a problem that causes misery for people living in or near red light areas. There is no evidence that decriminalisation or licensing prostitution would achieve our objectives of reducing exploitation, improving the safety of those involved and making communities safer.

The reason that women would be allowed to work together without being prosecuted was for their safety rather than a deliberate attempt to liberalise the law.

Mactaggart said: Where women are working for themselves and are less likely to be managed or pimped on a large scale, in the interim it is probably more sensible not to use the very serious penalties we have against people who run brothels. Very small scale operations can operate in a way that is not disruptive to neighbours. I am not trying, by having a clear strategy in the street sex market, to move it from the streets to a series of pairs of women working out of flats and causing a nuisance.

Police will be encouraged to work more closely with charities running safe houses to help women quit the sex trade. The strategy also includes measures to encourage them to seek help with drink or drugs problems.

There will be a new penalty for loitering or soliciting for prostitution, so that courts can direct women into drug or alcohol programmes rather than fining them. Measures to improve safety include expanding the so-called Ugly Mugs scheme, which lets prostitutes know about potentially violent clients.

Sex industry campaigners called the strategy "a missed opportunity" to legalise prostitution rather than criminalising its practitioners. Cari Mitchell, of the English Collective of Prostitutes, said that police crackdowns made the streets more dangerous for the women. Clients are much more nervous and women don't have time to check them out properly before they get into the car, she said.

28th January

Update : The Doctor Calls

From The Scotsman

Prostitution should be legalised to improve the health of sex workers, British Medical Journal editor Fiona Godlee said.

Dr Godlee said last week's decision by ministers to allow up to three prostitutes to work legally in a brothel but not to officially legalise brothels was a mistake because it stopped short of allowing licensed premise

 

17th January

    Going for a Kerbside Spin

Strangely coincidental that the Police have asked for exactly what the Government will no doubt suggest the very next day. I really don't see why the nutters in the government are so keen to repress people's sex life. They should be finding legal ways to contact and meet prostitutes such that nuisance can be minimised.

From the BBC

Kerb crawling in Belfast is under the spotlight. New legislation is needed in Northern Ireland to effectively deal with street prostitution, the police have said. The comments were made to residents from Belfast city centre during a public meeting at the city hall.

Dozens of people who live in new apartment blocks near Linenhall Street voiced their concerns to police and councillors.

Detective Inspector Jeff Smyth said some of the laws covering kerb crawling were 150 years old: What has emerged and what has been highlighted in tonight's meeting is that there seems to be a gap in legislation. Our colleagues in police services elsewhere in the United Kingdom, in mainland England and Wales, have a more updated legislation specifically designed against kerb crawlers.

On Tuesday, the UK government will announce a new crackdown on prostitution in England and Wales, getting tougher on men who buy sex, and helping women get off the streets. Belfast residents want the same tactics used in Northern Ireland

 

16th January

    Police Take Pleasure in Denying Pleasure

Based on a biased article from The Cambridge Evening News

A police operation has brought down a £1 million prostitution business based in Cambridge

Detectives raided three suspected brothels on Wednesday. The vice ring is thought to have been worth millions of pounds per year. A total of 10 people were arrested.

Two men, aged 40 and 41, both from Cambridge, were arrested on suspicion of managing prostitution and money laundering and are currently in custody at Parkside police station, where they are being questioned by detectives.

Raids were also carried out in connection with the investigation at a home in Royston, in Hertfordshire, and a business in Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk.Six women were also arrested on suspicion of managing prostitution and money laundering. All are now in custody at Parkside.

Undercover officers spent 18 months gathering intelligence and evidence against the suspected brothels, which were advertised locally as massage parlours.

The police operation and waste of public money was coordinated by Det Insp Dan Vajzovic, from the newly-formed Serious and Organised Crime Squad, who said the criminal gang running the operation could also be involved in money laundering and the drugs trade.

Community Chief Insp Vicky Skeels, who took part in the raid, said the brothels were all run by the same group, with prostitutes working in pairs on shifts. She said: We understand there were usually two females at each address at most times, and we believe they were employed by organised criminals who ran this as a lucrative business. She also praised members of the public who had come forward with information.

Sgt Mark Woolner, who covers the Mill Road beat, said: Organised prostitution is something that has come up several times in community intelligence meetings and this operation was the culmination of a lot of hard work. We have shown we will not tolerate this in our communities and I hope that message gets through to other organised criminals.

Mill Road residents revealed to the News that prostitutes were charging £65 per hour for sex. One man, who did not want to be named, living next door to a vice den raided in Catharine Street, said prostitutes saw 24 men in a day's work. He added: I have lived here for 18 years and they have been there for seven years and I have never had any trouble. The girls arrive here in the morning at 10am and go until 9pm. They were the best neighbours I had, I never heard any noise. I think they ran a professional organisation. There was one girl and one receptionist, inside.

 

15th January

    Fiona MacNutter Considers Britain as a Nation of Child Abusers

Based on an article from The Observer

Men who pay for sex are as bad as child abusers, a senior government minister warned today, as she unveiled radical plans to protect prostitutes by targeting their clients.

Under the proposals, schoolgirls will be taught about the dangers of selling sex, amid evidence that more than half of streetwalkers start out as teenagers. Police will also be expected to take prostitutes' complaints of rape seriously while a new database will enable call girls to swap details of violent and dangerous clients, as the balance shifts from targeting women who sell sex to the one in 10 men who buys it.

Shameful Fiona MacTaggart, the Home Office minister, is also considering relaxing laws that prevent off-street prostitutes working in pairs from private flats, which reformers argue is safer than working solo.

I don't think most men who use prostitutes think of themselves as child abusers, but they are, she told The Observer. It could change things if we changed the view of prostitution from "it's the oldest profession" to "this is the most common form of child abuse".

Her review of prostitution, to be published on Tuesday, will create a national database of 'ugly mugs', allowing prostitutes to warn others about clients they consider dangerous.

With more than 60 prostitutes killed in the past 10 years, police will be expected to protect women in red-light areas, while kerb crawlers will forfeit driving licences. MacNutter said it was also crucial to stop girls being drawn into such work by helping to prevent prostitution being seen by them as a solution to their problems , either financially or within their families. Working in schools, particularly with children who might be vulnerable, is really important, she added.

The government has, however, ruled out legalising brothels or creating 'tolerance zones' where sex workers could avoid arrest, to the sex industry's fury.

A spokeswoman for the English Collective of Prostitutes said it was 'outrageous' to equate prostitution and child abuse: It's as though women didn't know the difference between rape and abuse, and consenting sex. She is trying to take the decision out of women's hands.

 

15th January

    Leeds Turns Blue

From Leeds Today

A lap  dancing company which operates two clubs in Leeds is opening two more venues in the city one of which, it claims, is the biggest of its kind in the UK.

Blue Box Leisure Group, which describes itself as an "independent leisure company" and is run by Greek businessman Max Makrinakis, owns the Blue Leopard and the Red Leopard. It says it will double the size of its interest in Leeds by opening two new clubs, the Blue Coyote, on Merrion Street, and Deep Blue, in the former Bambu nightclub on York Place.

Blue Coyote, which opens on Friday, January 20, is being billed as the biggest American-style table dancing bar in the UK, with a capacity of 900. Deep Blue will open in April. A spokesman said the new outlets would create job opportunities for over 100 people. The company, which also runs similar premises in Liverpool, started from scratch in 2002 and says it plans to open a further five clubs in West Yorkshire in the next two years. The spokesman added: Table Dancing has become a popular pastime over the last five years and our clubs are frequented by a wide variety of clients including professionals, sports stars, businessmen entertaining clients and entrepreneurs.

The expansion of lap dancing clubs in Leeds has been the subject of fierce debate. It was revealed in the autumn that a significant number of female freshers heading for university in Leeds wanted to work in the city's burgeoning sex trade. A poll revealed that 15% of female students would be more than ready to work in the sex trade in order to fund their studies - with dancers claiming they could earn two weeks worth of part-time wages in just one night.

A year ago, a proposed ban on nudity in the city's lap and table dancing bars was dropped after protests from bar owners. Lawyers representing the bars, including Blue Leopard and Red Leopard, as well as the Purple Door, argued that nude dancing had taken place in their premises for many years without problems.
After listening to the representations, councillors - who had been considering a ban on nude dancing - made several revisions to special conditions including that clubs should fit CCTV cameras inside their premises to the satisfaction of West Yorkshire Police. Members of the licensing and regulatory panel also ruled that booths and private rooms should be visible to supervision and must not have closing doors or curtains.

 

12th January

    Dubliners Lap Up Stringfellows

Lets hope that the Dublin doesn't follow the London branch in hiring killer thugs to patrol the no touching policy

From The Telegraph

Peter Stringfellow has been given permission to open a nightclub boasting erotic dancers in Dublin. The club is the third such venue to be launched by the nightclub entrepreneur. The other Stringfellows are in London and Paris. Stringfellow claimed his club would gentrify the area and said that residents should accept his international reputation.

Dublin District Court was told that although female strippers would dance beside tables and on stage, there would be no lap dancing involving physical contact with customers.

The application had been opposed by local residents and a pressure group supporting the victims of prostitution. Nutters living near Parnell Street, where the club will be situated, said they were concerned about the type of clientele the club would attract in an area where a large number of elderly and young people lived. The North Inner City Nutters Group raised objections, saying it did not want the club in an area with a girls' secondary school, a toy shop, a cinema and corporation flats.

The nutters' campaign was supported by some Dublin City councillors and Ruhama, a group working with the victims of prostitution.

 

11th January

    Smug in Rochdale

From the Rochdale Observer

A scheme to crack down on kerb crawlers is to be extended nationwide following the success of a 'name and shame' operation in Rochdale. Operation Sarnia was launched last May in a bid to rid the streets in the Milkstone Road area and Deeplish of prostitutes and their clients.

Uniformed and undercover officers went on patrol during the week-long crackdown and 18 drivers were arrested and named and shamed when their court appearances were reported in the Observer.

They were also warned that if they continued to trawl Rochdale's streets for sex they could be issued with anti-social behaviour orders or even have their cars confiscated.

The Home Office aims to follow Rochdale's example to deter men from kerb crawling, prevent women from being lured into prostitution and offer a way out for women involved in the oldest profession. Home Office officials say there was evidence that local media campaigns could have some success in getting the message across and a national campaign might have even greater effect.

Sergeant Andy Pilling, one of the leaders of Operation Sarnia, said: The naming and shaming of kerb crawlers in the Observer has been a powerful tool. Our campaign has been hailed a success because a lot of the girls we used to see regularly in the area we don't see at all now. There is still some activity, but there is very little now.

 

5th January

    Stringfellows: No Touching or our Bouncer Thugs will Kill You

From ic Birmingham

A bouncer killed a man on a stag night after he was thrown out of a lap-dancing club for ignoring a 'don't touch' rule, the Old Bailey heard.

Marcus Marriott punched marketing executive George MacDonald, from Warwickshire, after he was thrown out of the West End club for pulling a lap dancer towards him.

Marriott, an amateur heavyweight boxer, smashed MacDonald's jawbone and sent the 21-stone man crashing to the pavement, where he fractured his skull and died.

MacDonald was out with a group of friends on a joint stag night and birthday party when he died in the early hours of October 8, 2004. Dorian Lovell-Pank QC, prosecuting, said: There's one important house rule which is you're not allowed to touch the girls at all and if you do you're likely to be asked to leave the club.

Lovell-Pank said that MacDonald began chatting to one of the dancers and she had danced for him: It seems he pulled her towards him or touched her in some way. This was seen by one of the doormen and, as a result, he was asked to leave the club.

MacDonald was escorted out of the club by two bouncers. They were joined by Marriott, a trained martial arts expert and amateur boxer who had fought competitively at cruiser and heavyweight levels under the name Marcus Lee.

Lovell-Pank said: Mr MacDonald was drunk but he was able to walk up the flight of stairs unaided. He was quite drunk but he was celebrating a birthday and had been on a stag night and if he wanted to get drunk that was his business. He was apparently making comments such as 'you think you're a big boy' to the defendant. In the next 30 seconds the defendant had punched Mr MacDonald so hard in the face that it shattered his upper jawbone and sent his 21-stone body crashing to the pavement where he fractured his skull.

MacDonald died minutes later. Jurors were shown CCTV footage which captured the whole incident, which was also witnessed by a police officer in a patrolling van. Marriott was arrested and taken to Charing Cross police station where he accepted he had punched MacDonald, a self-employed computer expert.

But he claimed MacDonald was threatening him and insisted he had only struck out in self-defence. He told police that the death was his "worst nightmare", jurors were told.

Marriott denies manslaughter. The trial continues.

 

5th January

    Tolerance Zones for Police Harassment

Based on an article from Leeds Today

Police have claimed a major victory in the battle to restrict street vice in Leeds.

In what is believed to be the first scheme of its kind in the country, 80 prostitutes arrested working in the city centre and Water Lane area have been referred to the specially set-up Prostitution Intervention Team. The all-female team offers the women, most whom are young heroin and crack-cocaine addicts sleeping rough, the chance to break the cycle of arrests and court appearances which only leads them back on the streets to pay for their fines as well as their drug habits. Each one is treated as a victim and helped into drug programmes and offered safe housing.

It comes just days after the Government announced a U-turn on its national policy regarding the legalization of red light tolerance zones and promised a New Year "zero tolerance" crackdown.

Detective Inspector Richard James, who is based at Millgarth and heads the police's Drugs Intervention Programme for West Yorkshire, denied the Prostitution Intervention Team was a soft option to tackle the Leeds vice trade which involved more than 200 prostitutes. He said: We've shown we are 12 months ahead of the Government. We always said 'no' to a tolerance zone. But the last thing we want is to displace hundreds of prostitutes to Bradford by giving them all anti-social behaviour orders banning them from the Leeds red light zone. It just displaces the problem. We want to deal with this 'in-house' by keeping those women involved in the city, but out of vice. One of the problems we've had in the past was that we didn't always have the treatment available in Leeds. Now there is an exit strategy, there is treatment, so I will not tolerate a woman who is on the scheme prostituting herself for money.

Det Insp James said in a 12-month period the vice squad had targeted the real criminals involved in vice, the men who use and abuse women.
These included:

  • Arresting five pimps last month under new "pimping" legislation;
  • Prosecuting 20 drivers for kerbcrawling, four were handed driving bans by magistrates under new legislation;
  • Issuing 280 Acceptable Behaviour Contacts to kerbcrawlers warning them they face arrest and a court appearance if they trawl the red light zone again;
  • Issuing 400 written warnings to kerbcrawlers caught trawling the red light zone.
    Intervention

 

3rd January

    Private Prejudices Set to Halt Private Dances

Based on an article from The Scotsman

Edinburgh's strip bars are facing a major clampdown under plans to end the practice of "private dances" being offered to customers.

A biased task force set up by the Scottish Executive is expected to recommend closing a legal loophole which allows licensed premises to becoming lap-dancing venues without seeking permission from the licensing authority.

The Adult Entertainment Working Group, which has visited strip bars and clubs across Scotland, found that five of the seven operating in Edinburgh were doing so without a proper entertainment licence.

Sources close to the group said so-called "sex tourists" are travelling to Edinburgh and Glasgow from England because of the lack of regulation of such premises north of the border.

It is understood the task force will recommend the banning of private dances in booths after viewing CCTV evidence of what customers get during a one-to-one performance. One insider said: The guy sat on his hands, while the girl basically rubbed her crotch in his face. It wasn't dancing.

The task force is chaired by Linda Costelloe-Baker, the Scottish legal services ombudsman, and includes academics, councillors, and representatives of the licensed trade industry. Its members, who include Edinburgh councillor Lorna Shiels, have made anonymous visits to lap-dancing clubs.

The group published the findings of a three-month consultation on public attitudes to adult entertainment last month which found that two thirds of people believed lap-dancing had a negative effect on performers, audiences and society at large. Four fifths of those who responded felt that more controls were needed in the adult entertainment industry, with one in four calling for an outright ban.

Shameful SNP MSP Sandra White said: I welcome the steps that this group has taken. Anything that helps stops the sex industry, I am in favour of. But what they also need to do is change the law, so lap-dancing clubs are licensed as sex shops. It would give councils the power to refuse licences and not allow clubs to open in the first place. That's the crunch issue.

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said: We asked the group to investigate the scope and extent of adult entertainment activity across Scotland. A key issue will be the protection of the people who work in this area. We look forward to hearing the group's views.

They spoke out just days before the city council rejected plans for what would have become Edinburgh's sixth licensed sex shop, just a few hundred yards away from Tollcross Primary School.

Later in the year the council kicked out plans for another sex shop to open on Leith Walk, again near to a primary school, and a church.

 

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