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No sex shops please, we’re Nottingham

Nottingham City Council is currently reviewing the number of sex shops and lap dancing clubs in the area under its jurisdiction and it has announced that its ‘preferred option’ is to ban them all.

The policy the council intends to pursue can be seen at www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=20303 but it is running a consultation period until February 22nd, and it will make its final decision in May 2013.

There are currently two licensed sex shops in Nottingham though in March of 2012 the owners of the city’s high profile Adult Gift Shop decided to close their store following changes the council made to its licensing terms, which included making the licensing fee non-refundable and payable upfront upon application – and doubling it from £6,400 to £13,850. There is one sex entertainment venue.

The county’s deputy police and crime commissioner Chris Cutland was quoted on local news website www.thisisnottingham.co.uk as saying: “I would like to see a ban. There is a correlation particularly between how women feel when there are more sex shops and lap-dancing clubs – it makes areas no-go areas for women.”

Ms Cutland went on to claim that research in the London Borough of Camden showed there was a 50% increase in sexual assaults after a rapid expansion of lap-dancing clubs – and even though she conceded that there was no evidence linking crime in the Nottingham area with such venues, she wondered if that was because their presence in the city was currently very limited.

An adult industry insider urged all members of the UK adult sector to complete the anonymous survey, commenting: “If this were to succeed then the consequences for the entire adult industry could be disastrous as other councils could follow their lead. Our industry is already regulated in so many ways and this is another attempt to erase all adult licensed premises—not just shops but all licensed clubs as well.”

Nottingham City Council states that consultations over this matter will be held with local councillors, education representatives, representatives of places of worship, representatives/service users of care homes and day centres and community centres, owners of local businesses, representatives of women’s organisations and representatives of Parks & Playgrounds.