BRISTOL could become the largest city in England and Wales to ban lapdancing as clubs are blamed for the harassment of women.
The Bristol city council is considering proposals for a new rule and will ask residents about banning lapdancing clubs.
Councillor Richard Eddy told a council meeting: “We are asked not to give our taste, our moral view, whether we believe these sorts of clubs should exist, we are asked to weigh up the crime statistics and the evidence and say if we believe there is a link.
“The existing clubs are well run and well regulated, so I can’t see evidence that we should drop the cap to nil.”
Labour councillor Margaret Hickman said that some of Bristol’s biggest issues are “harassment of women and domestic homicide”, Bristol Live reported.
She said: “We can’t ignore the violence against women that is perpetrated by people who attend these venues.”
There are two lapdancing clubs in Bristol: Central Chambers and the Urban Tiger.
Central Chambers wrote on Facebook: “Let’s hope the councillors vote against the nil cap on International Women’s Day and do not put hundreds of women out of work.”
Meanwhile dancer Jessica Risque posted: “We do not need someone to say they have control over what is right for me to do with my body.
“They have not taken into consideration how this will affect a lot of people.
“If you think you can take this away from a bunch of consenting adults who do provide sexy entertainment, who are there a lot of the time to support and give therapy and show someone escapism from their lives they lead, you are not going to get rid of sex workers by closing these places down.
“You are going to push it underground, you are going to make it so it is less regulated. It’s incredibly distasteful.”
MAKING STREETS SAFE
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Sarah Everard’s death must “unite us in determination” to end violence against women and girls.
Sarah, 33, disappeared while walking home in Clapham, and her body was later found in Kent.
Mr Johnson will today chair a meeting of the Crime and Justice Taskforce to look at ways to make Britain’s streets more safe.
Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to attend the meeting along with Dame Cressida Dick and Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill.
The PM will use the meeting to discuss the government’s strategy on preventing violence against women, rape prosecutions and the criminal justice system.
Ahead of the meeting, he said: “Like everyone who saw it I was deeply concerned about the footage from Clapham Common on Saturday night.
“I have spoken with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner who has committed to reviewing how this was handled and the Home Secretary has also commissioned HM Inspectorate of Constabulary to conduct a lessons learned review into the policing of the event.”
Mr Johnson added: “The death of Sarah Everard must unite us in determination to drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to protect and defend them.”
The Home Secretary said: “With Sarah and her family in my thoughts and prayers, I will continue to do all I can in my role as Home Secretary to protect women and girls.
“Everyone should be free to walk our streets without fear of harassment, abuse or violence.
“The Home Office survey on tackling violence against women and girls has received an unprecedented 53,000 responses since it reopened on Friday and I’d urge everyone to give us their views.”