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Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Wednesday, 17 September 2003 11:43 UK

LA cracks down on lap dancing

By Peter Bowes
BBC, Los Angeles

Tough new laws are being introduced in Los Angeles banning the practice of lap-dancing.

The city's strip clubs have been told to keep their customers about two metres (6.5 ft) away from erotic dancers.

It is a response to complaints that the clubs contribute to prostitution and drug use.

For the dancers who earn a living by stripping, getting up close to their customers is an all-important part of the act.

Most make their money from tips in the form of cash.

The dollar notes are usually tucked into their skimpy bikinis, a practice that will be made impossible under the new law.

No touching

Aside from the two-metre rule, customers and dancers will no longer allowed to touch each other.

Direct tipping and all bodily contact will be banned.

The clampdown follows a growing number of complaints from people living near adult clubs.

They say they are to blame for prostitution, drugs use, excessive noise and streets littered with condoms.

Under the new law, state licence security guards must be on duty in the clubs at all times.

Breaking the rules can result in a six-month jail sentence or a $2,500 fine.

SEE ALSO
Lapdancers told to unionise
15 Jan 03 |  England

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