Another unlicensed Soho sex shop on Walkers Court has been warned to cease trading as part of Westminster Council's long-running campaign against unlicensed shops selling hardcore DVDs.
Westminster Council allows a limited number of vendors of adult DVDs, magazines and sex toys to trade in the West End, but such businesses are obliged to pay extortionate licence fees that cost about £ 30,000
Enterprise chief Councillor Brian Connell said licensing council staff were working hard to put the remaining unlicensed sex shops in the streets and alleyways around Brewer Street out of business. Connell told the West End Extra:
In my view, cleaning up the worst excesses of this trade is good for London and good for Westminster.
It's what we said we would do prior to the Olympics, so it is delivering on a commitment, and it also has the effect of making sure that legitimate businesses don't run the risk of losing market share.
In 1999 Soho had 61 unlicensed sex shops. It now has nine, and of these, the courts are set to hear three closure hearings in the coming year. The council's declared intention is for no unlicensed sex DVD shops to remain operational by the start
of the Olympics.
Update: Meanwhile in Islington
3rd February 2012. See article
Islington's last unlicensed sex shop has shut after a council raid found unclassified DVDs on the premises. Trading SubStandards and licensing staff visited DJD Retail, trading as Bookshop, at York Way in May last year, and seized DVDs and videos.
The sole officer of the company, David Darbo, pleaded guilty to eight offences under the Video Recordings Act 1984 at Highbury Magistrates' Court last month.
Darbo was fined £ 3,150 and ordered to pay £ 1,449 costs. DJD Retail admitted eight offences and was fined £ 100 for one offence.