Monday, January 30, 2012

Police bid to control strip club management bounced

Trouble-prone Kings Cross strip club Showgirls is in the news again with the liquor regulator rejecting a police bid to veto the club's choice of manager.

A story in today's Sydney Morning Herald recounts a string of troubles linked to the club over recent years, from allegations of credit card fraud to cocaine being sold on the premises and dancers being arrested on drugs charges.

The veto was one of 14 new licence conditions slapped on the club. But the club fought it and Chris Sidoti, chairman of the liquor authority, agreed with the club's lawyer that giving police such powers could lead to police corruption. The law stipulates that licensing and enforcement powers are separated, precisely to avoid this problem.

Meanwhile another Kings Cross venue owner is claiming the old police practice of 'greenlighting' - offering drug dealers certain immunities if they dob in other dealers - is alive and well. The club owner claims that a 'greenlighted' dealer has demanded 'protection' money and ignored attempts to have him barred from the venue, including an AVO. Police would no doubt deny any such claim.

The venue owner, who claims not to use illicit drugs and works to keep them off the premises, says drugs should be legalised to stop the rot. Whether or not the allegations are true, the underbelly of prohibition is, as always,  dark, dirty and devious.

No comments: