Enforcement of sex establishment licences
Produced in partnership with Freddie Humphreys of Kings Chambers
Enforcement of sex establishment licences

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Freddie Humphreys of Kings Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Enforcement of sex establishment licences
  • What is a sex establishment?
  • What are the licence conditions?
  • Breach of licence conditions
  • Powers of search and seizure in respect of sex establishments
  • Sentencing for breaches of licence conditions
  • Appealing the refusal of a grant of a licence or conditions imposed by the licence

What is a sex establishment?

Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (LG(MP)A 1982), as amended by section 27 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 (PCA 2009), introduced a new category of sex establishment called a 'sexual entertainment venue', in addition to the existing categories of 'sex shop' and 'sex cinema'. Sex establishments are defined by LG(MP)A 1982, Sch 2. There are four categories of sex establishments:

  1. sex shops

  2. sex cinemas

  3. sexual entertainment venues

  4. hostess bars

LG(MP)A 1982, Sch 3 empowers a council to licence these premises. The licence application requirements are set out in Sch 3, para 10. When considering applications in relation to a licence for a sex shop the authority may take all matters into account, including late objections, although fairness requires that the terms of any representations which the authority proposes to consider should be communicated to the applicant for the licence so that he has an opportunity to comment .

Schedule 3 defines sex shops and sex articles and also defines the licensing and compliance requirements.

A sex shop is defined as ‘any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used for a business which consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex articles or other things intended for use in sexual activity. Significant degree is not defined but