UK

Lap Dancing Clubs 'Exploiting Legal Loophole To Host Sexual Entertainment'

11/09/2013 15:42 BST | Updated 11/09/2013 15:52 BST
AP
A pole dancer performs her routine during the Miss Pole Dance South America 2012 and Pole Dance Argentina 2012 competitions in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

A government minister has admitted that bars are able to host lap dancing without having to apply for full permission because of a legal loophole.

Jeremy Browne said the government would investigate whether the current law was being abused.

He had been warned that bars were exploiting an exemption for one-off events, like hiring a strippergram for a birthday party, to put on regular adult nights.

The matter was first raised by Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert, who represents Newquay, the Western Morning News reported.

Currently, a lap dancing establishment would need to adhere to strict conditions, including having trained staff.

But Gilbert said an exemption under the Policing and Crime Act 2009 allowed for one-off events to be held, including in his Newquay constituency.

Up to 11 of these events can be held every year.

Raising the issue in Parliament, he said: "It is about ensuring that performers in sexual entertainment venues, lap dancing clubs, and the patrons of those venues are properly protected and that local communities are involved in the decision-making process about where and when these venues operate."

Responding on behalf of the government, Browne said: “It is possible for ingenious bar owners to use the exemption in a way which gives them more scope to provide regular entertainment of a sexual nature than was envisaged when this legislation was introduced in 2009...[this is] beyond the spirit of the exemptions."