Debate over future of Sheffield strip club amid ‘sting operations’ claim

A debate over the future of a lapdancing club in Sheffield has got people talking online.

By Lee Peace
Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 9:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 9:10 am
Spearmint Rhino.
Spearmint Rhino.

United Voices of the World, the trade union representing strippers working in clubs across the UK, says it is appalled by “duplicitous sting operations” at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino.

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Spearmint Rhino.

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This comes after two former male police officers reportedly visited the club to see how it was being run on two different occasions in February.

The Women's Equality Party – WEP – attended a recent council meeting where they gave a graphic description of some of the sex acts alleged to have taken place at the club. The WEP says it did not commission or conduct the undercover operations but referenced the findings at the meeting.

But Shiri Shalmy of United Voices of the World said: “In a misguided, self-appointed mission to ‘save’ dancers, the WEP continues to put women’s livelihoods at risk, while ignoring the explicit wishes of the women involved.”

The Star's coverage of the story has sparked debate among a number of readers on Facebook.

Trina Erswell said: “I take my hat off to these ladies, they are doing a good job. It's their business what they do so leave them alone.”

David Almond added: “Who cares! Not my thing but not hurting anyone.” Jamie Hague posted: “Leave the club alone, its hurting no-one.”

In a statement, the WEP again reiterated that it has not commissioned any undercover investigations.

They added: “We first learned about the investigation when an organisation called Not Buying It released a summary of the findings, and our local activists have since referred to this evidence in their representations to local authorities, always making clear this was not our investigation."

Spearmint Rhino said it imposes strict rules at all of its establishments and added it is investigating the allegations. The club has to go before the licensing board annually to get a new permit but a meeting date has not yet been set.