Refusal No. 47 – Club in Leicester shut

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 16.53.42.pngAngels in Leicester has a complex applications history, being refused in 2011 but then granted an SEV licence in 2012. This new refusal to renew its licence has been widely reported, and not unexpected given that the premise was the subject of an objection by Bobby Smiljanic, Licensing Team Manager, on the basis that the existing conditions attached to the licence were not being complied with, namely conditions 14, 17 and 26. These relate to CCTV, identity checks for performers and the prohibition of certain activities during performances. The documentation relating to this evidence is not in the public realm, but the following has been reported in the Leicester Mercury:

“Ms Smiljanic said she had accompanied the police when they executed a warrant at Angels on December 5.

The hearing was not told why the police raided Angels but they searched the premises and took a hard drive with CCTV recordings.

She said: “I was shown CCTV by the police which showed performers and members of the public clearly touching and fondling in an intimate and sexual manner.”

City council rules – for all strip clubs – prevent any physical contact between the strippers and the customers.

She said the footage also showed strippers straddling customers – another forbidden practice.

Committee members watched footage before the public hearing began and then went into private session to watch more recordings at the request of solicitor Heath Thomas who represented the club.

Later council solicitor Katherine Jamieson summed up what had happened – pointing out said the club had described the sexual behaviour as “more of a blip than a persistent breach”.

She said Ms Smiljanic said it was “typical behaviour.”

The club was also judged to have breached a condition to carry out identity checks on its strippers to ensure they are legally entitled to work and aged 18 or over.

The hearing was told there were 19 performers working when the council inspected Angels on October 9 but the club management were unable to provide documentation.

Documents for ten of the 19 were later emailed to the council but no information has been provided for the other nine.

Mr Thomas said there were four rather than nine missing cases and that Angels director Krzysztof Neumann said the girls were working for the first time that night and had not consequently returned.

He said Mr Neumann was careful about where he kept documents after a previous burglary at the club.

He also said the police had taken some of the documents the council wanted.

The council also decided Angels had breached a condition requiring it to hold 28 days of CCTV recording.

The police found only 18 days on a hard drive.

.Mr Thomas said the CCTV had “failed” on November 17, had been quickly replaced, but was otherwise compliant.

Committee chairman councillor John Thomas said: “The footage viewed by the committee left very little doubt the condition (no touching) had not been complied with at all and the committee refuses to believe these form a one-off incident.”

After the hearing Mr Thomas said the club was considering appealing against the refusal at magistrates court.”

The number of clubs in Leicester remains as was back in 2011, however, with 3 clubs including the Chasers club first licensed in October 2015.

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