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News Archive > General > Sex assaults down since lap dance clubs opened

Sex assaults down since lap dance clubs opened

By 3rd March 2010

POLICE figures show that the number of recorded sexual assaults has fallen by more than 50% since the town’s first lap dancing club opened - the NewquayVoice can reveal.
The figures, gained by using the Freedom of Information Act, appear to contradict claims that lap dancing venues put nearby females at risk from sexual assault due to aroused male customers.
In September 2009, talking about Cornwall Council's decision to enforce a three foot minimum distance between customers and lap dancers at Divas lap dancing club, Newquay police Inspector Dave Meredith said: "A three foot rule ... is a practical and realistic method of minimising sexual arousal and therefore reducing the risk of sexual assault to vulnerable women in the nearby area."
In October 7, when talking about a possible second review of Divas’ lap dance licence he said: "The decision given by the licensing magistrates was intended to minimise the potential threat to females in the area by minimising sexual arousal from males coming out of the club.”
Inspector Meredith said during the review process that Newquay police had been concerned about the alleged cause or link between sexually arousing entertainment and sexual assault following the release of a government action plan, ‘Summary of Cross Government Action Plan on Sexual Violence and Abuse’.
The Voice obtained Devon and Cornwall Constabulary figures of sexual assaults from the year 2000. In April 2002 statistics gathering was changed to include all  reported crime and not just investigated crimes as had been done previously.
Using the newly collated figures after 2002 the total number of recorded sexual assaults in the Newquay sector (Newquay town, St Columb Minor, St Columb Major, Newquay, Treloggan and Edgcumbe), peaked at 71 in 2005 and then took a sharp dive to 51 the following year, 2006. Sexual assault figures include reports of rape, indecent assault, sexual assault, and other miscellaneous sexual offences.
2006 was when Newquay's first lap dance club, Teasers, opened on Tolcarne Road.
In 2007, when Divas - the town’s second lap dancing venue opened - the total number of recorded sexual assaults fell by another ten to 41, then by 14 more to 27 the following year when Halos opened.
In 2009, the number rose slightly, but, at a total of 33 offences, the statistics remain at less than half the total before the clubs emerged.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Steve Gilbert has made frequent comments in opposition to Newquay's lap dancing clubs, and said of the statistics: "Let’s be clear, one rape is one rape too many and should be seen as a major problem in our town.  The police figures only relate to reported rapes but we know that when it comes to rape and sexual assault many are not reported, particularly if the victim is a visitor. 
"Some people will prefer to report incidents to rape crisis centres or help lines, others keep quiet about the assault for many years. Indeed, Newquay’s police chief, at a recent Magistrates’ Court hearing said that 40% of rapes are not reported.” 
"I’m proud to have worked with the thousands of people in Newquay who want to have more of a say in where lap dancing clubs open and when the law changes later this year, and all existing lap dancing clubs will have to apply for a new license, I will continue to work to make sure local people’s voices will finally be heard."

By 3rd March 2010

Tom 14th November 2012 13:13
This is a ridiculous statistic. Anyone who has been in Newquay over the last 10 years knows why the assaults have dropped...There are only half the number of people out due to the squeeze on disposable income...
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