Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Spearmint Rhino Sheffield: Dancers broke strip rules with 'sex acts'

Picture of a lap dancers shoes Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Private investigators filmed the sex acts during two undercover visits in February

Dancers at a strip club "sexually touched customers", breaching more than 200 regulations, a report has revealed.

An inquiry found six dancers at Spearmint Rhino, in Sheffield, had also sexually touched each other and engaged in other sex acts between themselves.

The council report said there had been 74 licence condition breaches and 145 of the club's code of conduct rules had been broken.

Spearmint Rhino has been approached for a comment.

Sheffield City Council's investigation follows claims of private investigators filming sex acts at the Brown Street club in April.

Footage was captured in February during two undercover visits initiated by campaign group Not Buying It, who presented details to councillors and called for the club's licence to be revoked.

After examining the footage and witness statements made by the private investigators, the authority found rules had been breached during eight separate dances.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Spearmint Rhino in Brown Street has been open for 16 years. It is due to find out next month whether its licence will be renewed

The report said officers found "no evidence that management were aware that breaches were taking place".

"However, given the nature and extent of the breaches, Sheffield City Council Licensing Service (SCCLS) has concerns over the apparent level of management control at the establishment particularly considering the conditions imposed upon the licence," it said.

"Therefore, SCCLS is referring the investigation report to the licensing sub-committee on the grounds of applicant suitability."

A decision on whether to renew the venue's Sexual Entertainment Licence is due on 16 September.

'Violated'

The report added the club's management had "implemented an action plan to ensure that further breaches will not take place" and officers would "continue to inspect the premises on a monthly basis".

Not Buying It said it was "not surprised" by the council's report.

"It [the council] needs to shut down the club and support anyone who needs it into safe, alternative work," Dr Sasha Rakoff said.

In June, dancers and supporters held a protest defending the strip club amid fears of its closure.

Club worker Rachael McCoy, 37, previously said the undercover filming left dancers feeling "violated" and they had faced a lot of online abuse.

"I'm a single mother. This job helps me feed my children. This job has actually changed my life for the better," she said.

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