Concerns expressed recently by
liquor licensing officials about public nudity at some local bars and
nightclubs are more serious than just a few young women who bare all in attempts
to add to their Mardi Gras bead collections.
Royal Cayman Islands Police
Commissioner David Baines said officers on his “hot spot” patrol teams have
become aware in recent months that a few local clubs are running what amounts
to exotic dancing operations.
The first clue, Mr. Baines said,
occurred when nightclub personnel didn’t want to allow police officers instant
access to their premises.
“We’ve had instances where we’ve
gone to go into the (club) doors as part of our searches and there’s been an
obvious delay in permitting us access,” Mr. Baines said.
“We’re taking action against those
bars, because as we’ve gone in it seemed fairly clear to us that either you had
exotic dancing or topless dancing, whatever you want to call it.”
Adult entertainment clubs are not
permitted to operate in the Cayman Islands and according to the Penal Code
(2007 Revision): “Whoever publicly exhibits any indecent show or performance or
any show or performance tending to corrupt morals” can be fined up to $200 and
imprisoned for three months on conviction.
However, in the cases investigated
thus far by the RCIPS “hot spot” teams, no arrests have been made and officers’
observations have merely been reported to the Liquor Licensing Board.
Mr. Baines said thus far the issue
is not one he considers a major problem and has only occurred at “less than a
handful of clubs”.
But he said club and bar owners
should take heed that any attempts to block police officers’ access into their
premises will go badly.
“This is a message to any bar
owners who think they can get away with this,” he said. “You start blocking
places to the police…the first issue I’m going to be doing is to say you’re not
fit to run a bar.”
“We will take very seriously any
attempt to obstruct officers from going and following through on those
enquiries. (The public) will see objections going before the licensing (board)
where there’s been a poor oversight management by the licensees.”
Liquor Licensing Board Chairman
Mitchell Welds has taken no tolerance stance on reports of public nudity, which
he recently said he’d received from two separate licensed premises (see
Caymanian Compass, 23 March ‘Public nudity at bars investigated’).
Mr. Welds did not identify those
two bars and did not publicly state any suspicions he might have that exotic
dancing was occurring inside either of the premises.
He did point out that the Liquor
Licensing Law (2000 Revision) prohibits “drunkenness, gambling, disorderly or
riotous behaviour or blasphemous or obscene language on the licensed premises”.
Mr. Baines said police “hot spot”
teams would continue to focus on liquor licenced premises in the coming months.
“Particularly those…that attract
public attention and are used by a section of the community where you’d see
this type activity or potential type of activity taking place,” he said.