Kent researcher investigates lap dancing clubs
A year-long study into the effects of lap-dancing
clubs on communities is to be carried out by a professor at
the University of Kent.
Proffessor Phil Hubbard of the University's School of Social
Policy, Sociology and Social Research, is teaming up with Dr
Rachela Colosi of Lincoln University, to investigate people's
perceptions of the clubs and how safe communities feel around
They have jointly been awarded £117, 839 by the Economic
and Social Research Council to fund the project, which will help
local authorities decide if there are any suitable premises for lap
Professor Hubbard said: "Until last year it was really easy for
a pub or a licensee to put on lap-dancing or a striptease in their
"But the Government's changed those rules, so that from now on
lap-dancing is not like any other entertainment, it's now classed
as sexual entertainment.
"It means local authorities can ban it if it's not appropriate
in given localities.
"The trouble is no one is sure whether there are any suitable
locations for them.
"So, this research is looking at not what is going on in the
clubs but what effect they have on the communities around them.
Professor Hubbard adds there is lots of stereotyping around
lap-dancing: "We tend to imagine there are lots of crimes around
the lap-dancing clubs and that their clients are anti social in
their behaviour. But we just don't know if that's the case that at
"Sometimes the type of premises which cause more problems to the
community are actually pubs and clubs, where there tends to be more
Proffessor Hubbard wants to hear from people who have been
involved in campaigning against lap-dancing clubs or have anxieties
about them in places such as Maidstone, Dover, Thanet and
the Medway towns.
He explains: "We will be doing questionnaire surveys and taking
people out at night near to the clubs to try to gauge how they feel
The project will culminate in a workshop with licensing
authorities, solicitors and members of lap-dancing associations -
looking at whether such clubs have a place in the community, or if
there needs to be more controls.
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