Residents line up to oppose bid by Fenland pub to stage regular lap dancing nights

PUBLISHED: 14:51 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:11 02 June 2010

the clarkson Arms

the clarkson Arms

OPENING a lap dancing club in Wisbech could lead to an increase in rape and sexual assaults in the town, according to angry residents who are fighting plans to open a club at the Clarkson Arms pub. Objectors have warned that the safety of women and childr

OPENING a lap dancing club in Wisbech could lead to an increase in rape and sexual assaults in the town, according to angry residents who are fighting plans to open a club at the Clarkson Arms pub.

Objectors have warned that the safety of women and children would be jeopardised by plans to allow pole and lap dancing at the pub, and claim local residents will be intimidated by single young men visiting the premises.

"Women feel more threatened travelling at night than men, and are more likely to restrict their travel plans because of fear of crime and disorder that this development will generate," said objector Anthony Saunders of Clarkson Avenue.

"Research undertaken by the Lilith Project in 2003 in Camden found that in the years following the opening of a lap dancing club, reports of female rape increased by 50 per cent, and reports of sexual assaults against women increased by 50 per cent.

"I have seen a drunken man from one of the pavement smoking tables accost a female pedestrian and follow her down the street calling out inappropriate comments. How more likely is this when the activities proposed are guaranteed to generate sexual tension/frustration?"

A flood of letters from objectors - including the police - has been sent to Fenland District Council, whose licensing committee is due to consider the application next Tuesday.

One objector complains that adult entertainment exploits women for sexual purposes, while another says "surely it is immoral to have such an establishment within a respectable residential area?"

Some objectors have complained that the plan would have a detrimental effect on the use of the nearby park, while another says it would affect the residents of a nearby care home.

The plans have been labelled as "shocking, "a bad idea," and a "low tone of entertainment" in letters of objection, and claim it would lead to "an increase in crime and disorder."

Licencee Patrick Stickwood of the Clarkson Arms has applied to vary his current licence, to allow the performance of indoor dance, and the provision of indoor dancing facilities, between 7pm and 1am from Monday to Thursday, and until 2am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Details of the application for the adult entertainment says performance will take place in a private room, with table dancing the main bar. Children will not be permitted access. Door supervisors will be used, and noise levels will be "appropriate.


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