Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Spearmint Rhino Sheffield: More than 600 sign petition

Picture of a lap dancers shoes Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption More than 600 people have signed a petition backing workers at Sheffield's Spearmint Rhino club

Hundreds of people have signed a petition backing workers at a strip club weeks after calls were made for its licence to be revoked.

Campaigners opposed to the club claimed private investigators saw dancers performing sex acts at Spearmint Rhino in Sheffield on two undercover visits.

A petition backing the workers has been signed by 625 people.

The city council is considering the licence. A union said workers had a right to safely earn cash.

One dancer at the Brown Street club said opponents were trying to "publicly shame and humiliate us" and the campaign was "detrimental to our mental health", the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Details of alleged sexual acts performed by dancers at the club were presented to councillors by campaigners in April, who called for the club to have its licence revoked.

A spokesperson for Spearmint Rhino said it had not been provided with any evidence [of sex acts] from the persons making the allegations.

An open letter with the petition backing the workers at the club said: "We believe sex work should not be stigmatised as uniquely or especially oppressive to women in the context of widespread misogyny and male violence against women.

"Sex work is legal, and advocating to take away women's choice to do safe, legal work is anti-feminist and anti-worker."

Shiri Shalmy, of the union United Voices of the World, said investigators carried out "duplicitous sting operations" and it would cause women to "seek work in unregulated spaces of erotic dance".

One dancer, known only as HW, said: "I love my job, and it's helped fund me through university and get onto the property ladder at a young age."

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