A DEDICATED licensing regime for venues such as lapdance clubs could be put in place under new Scottish Government proposals.
• A consultation on a licensing regime for sexual entertainment venues has been launched by the Scottish Government
• Proposals are aimed at giving local communities more input over the number and location of venues in Scottish cities
The Government has launched a consultation on the establishment of a licensing regime for sexual entertainment venues, which is aimed at giving local communities more say.
The regime will ensure more control over the number and location of venues in certain areas, while the consultation also seeks views on whether local authorities should be able to set the total number of licenses for such venues in their areas at zero.
Plans to introduce a specific system of licensing as part of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 were rejected by Holyrood because they were introduced late in the Bill process, however the Government pledged to return to the issue.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “It is right that local people should have the ability to have a say in the character of their communities.
“This consultation seeks views on proposals that will give local licensing authorities the powers to reflect local views and control the presence and operation of such venues in their areas.
“These venues undoubtedly divide opinion, however the proposed licensing regime is about ensuring the safety and protection of customers and workers while making sure the interests of local communities are protected.”
Chief Inspector Morag Stewart, of the Licensing and Violence Reduction Division at Police Scotland, said: “Keeping people safe is a priority for Police Scotland and we welcome the Scottish Government’s consultation on the proposed licensing of sexual entertainment venues as an opportunity to further regulate these activities, prevent the exploitation of vulnerable individuals, predominately females, working in this environment and to more effectively tackle any involvement of serious and organised criminality.”