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Undercover investigators claim naked dancers breached no touching rules at strip club

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:06 02 September 2019

Whirtes Gentlemen's Club in Leman Street, Whitechapel. Picture: Rachael Burford

Whirtes Gentlemen's Club in Leman Street, Whitechapel. Picture: Rachael Burford

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A strip club faces losing its licence after undercover investigators claimed naked dancers breached strict no touching rules and allegedly "took advantage" of drunk customers.

Whites Gentlemen's Club in Whitechapel could have its sexual entertainment licence renewal refused this week after two undercover investigators alleged that performers rubbed themselves against clients, touched them intimately and offered dances "which involved touching" for an extra £20 during their visits on May 23.

The investigators, employed by Tower Hamlets Council, said they were each invited into £850-a-visit VIP rooms, where "no security or CCTV are present", according to licensing documents for the venue in Leman Street.

One said that during a private dance a performer "began to grind her rear against me" and touched him intimately with her teeth through his clothing.

He said the woman then "insisted" he buy a VIP room package, where a dancer offered him a drink from an open bottle, which he did not want "due to the risk".

"The female began to dance, whilst fully naked, up and down against my whole body, focusing particular attention to my groin area," he said. "She subsequently began to unbutton my shirt and stopped as I moved position."

He added that after the dance he was asked if he would like to "take things further" in another VIP room. "She vaguely informed me that I could get more from her, with more privacy," he said. "I declined this offer."

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An investigator who paid £870 for a Russian-themed VIP room that included a bed and an open bottle of vodka said: "The dancer was touching my chest and her face was very close to mine. I felt that she was about to kiss me, before I began to cough … The dancer asked me to remove my clothing … I declined … I was asked if I wanted to continue or go to another room, stating there was a fun room, where there was a dance floor."

The investigators said they saw a customer who had entered the venue sober at the same time as them but had become "quickly intoxicated".

"I felt that he was being taken advantage of by the female dancers," one of the investigators said.

"Throughout the night he was taken to the VIP and private dance sections and he was later removed by security."

Under licensing rules, dancers are not allowed to intentionally touch customers during performances or solicit payment for sexual favours.

Investigators said they were briefed on the code of conduct by door staff.

Advising that the council should refuse the club a new licence tomorrow, Tom Lewis of the council licensing team said: "I would be very concerned about what occurs in this premises with customers who would encourage touching between them and the performer."

In its application for a licence renewal, before the undercover officers visited, club management wrote: "Representatives from the company would welcome any invitation to discuss this renewal with the licensing officer or police."

Whites, which says it has been voted one of London's top strip clubs for seven years in a row, declined to comment.

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