Lapdancing survey costs £118,000 and finds schools and striptease clubs don't mix
lap-dancing (file picture)
It has taken a year and £118,000 of taxpayers' money to
determine what some might argue was a foregone conclusion -
lap-dance and striptease clubs are not welcome near schools.
Research into the effects of sexual entertainment venues on
towns and cities was carried out by the University of Kent's School
of Social Policy.
The £118,000 project - Sexual Entertainment Venues and the
management of risk - was funded by the Economic and Social
Research Council, a non-departmental public body that receives most
of its funding through the Department for Business, Innovation and
It canvassed residents in Maidstone, Lincoln, Newcastle and
Brighton due to the variety of nighttime venues in each area.
Not surprisingly, it found 83% of respondents felt lap-dancing
clubs are not appropriate near schools or nurseries.
Nearly 1,000 people completed the online survey, which was
designed to challenge the negative image attached to lap-dance
Lead researcher, Professor Phil Hubbard (pictured right), said:
"Opposition to lap-dancing venues appears mainly based on
perceptions that clubs normalise sexism and promote anti-social
behaviour rather than any direct experience of crime.
"Our study did not uncover any evidence that these clubs cause
more nuisance or crime than any other night-time venues."
Maidstone council's decision in 2011 to adopt the Local
Government Act relating to the licensing of sexual entertainment
venues was given as another reason for the town's inclusion.
The act gives local authorities the power to close any
lap-dancing club which does not hold a sexual entertainment venue
The survey, reportedly the first of its kind to study the
regulation of 241 lap-dance and striptease clubs in England and
Wales, found most local authorities have adopted the new
Prof Hubbard said: "Some local authorities have gone so far as
to suggest that no new clubs will be permitted, indicating that
there are no suitable localities within their boundaries for such
- 83% of people felt lap-dancing clubs are inappropriate near
schools or nurseries.
- 65% didn’t want them near religious buildings.
- 3% thought lap-dancing clubs were suitable in residential
- About one in 10 thought lap-dancing clubs should be
- People aged over 40 were found to be less tolerant of
- About one in three respondents claimed to feel reasonably or
very unsafe walking in the city at night.
Last year, Maidstone's licensing committee rejected applications
for proposed sexual entertainment venues in Gabriels Hill and Bank
Players Gentleman's Club in the High Street remains the town's
only licensed lap-dancing establishment.
The survey showed 55% of respondents felt lap-dancing clubs were
only appropriate in town and city centres.
Paul Alcock, chairman of Maidstone Town Centre Management, said:
"This survey is a total waste of money because they are actually
telling us the flaming obvious.
"Most people don't want lap-dancing venues where kids can see
"The place for this sort of club is at the bottom of the high
street or somewhere out of the way."
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